Councillors are celebrating news that Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust (GST) has gained London Living Wage accreditation.
With St Thomas’s and Evelina Hospitals plus a very large community workforce GSTT is Lambeth’s biggest employer to end poverty wages.
For over a year Lambeth Labour Councillors have been working with GSTT and the Living Wage Foundation to support the NHS Trust to get accredited.
In May Lambeth Council Cabinet Members Cllrs Ed Davie and Jacqui Dyer and Living Wage Policy Lead Cllr Jon Davies hosted a Living Wage workshop at the Town Hall for local NHS Trusts.
GSTT, King’s College Hospital (KCH) and South London and the Maudsley (SLAM) NHS Trusts all committed to seeking accreditation having received advice from Lambeth Council finance officers, the Living Wage Foundation and University College Hospital, which was already accredited.
Since then Lambeth Labour Councillors have continued to encourage the NHS trusts to seek accreditation as soon as possible.
Now the hard work has paid off with GSTT’s workers, and those it contracts, being paid at least the London Living Wage rate of £10.75 an hour from May 2020.
That is significantly higher than the government minimum of £8.21 with the real Living Wage independently calculated to ensure all workers, including outsourced and contract staff, can meet the cost of living and earn enough to support themselves and their families.
GSTT is one of the largest hospital trusts in the country, with 17,100 staff and the move will mean that some will gain over £100 a week.
Lambeth Council has been a London Living Wage accredited employer since 2012 and became the first borough with a Living Wage building – International House in Brixton. Lambeth Labour has supported other employers in the borough to pay the rate and get accredited with the aim of ending poverty wages and deprivation in Lambeth. Currently 18% of workers in Lambeth are paid below the London Living Wage rate and Lambeth Labour is determined, and succeeding, in bringing this down to as near to zero as possible.
Cllr Ed Davie, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “This is great news for hundreds of cleaners, caterers, porters, security guards and others to be starting the New Year with. Lambeth Labour is absolutely committed to ending poverty wages for our hard-working residents and this is a major step in that battle. Many congratulations to GSTT and we look forward to working with all our NHS partners to create even more fairly paid, high quality jobs for our residents.”
Cabinet Lead for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety Cllr Jacqui Dyer said: ‘This is real progress towards making Lambeth’s NHS a poverty-wage free zone. We will continue to work with KCH and SLAM to support them to get accredited too’.
Living Wage Policy Lead Cllr Jon Davies said: ‘I’d like to congratulate the trust for making this decision and look forward to our other health providers following them soon’.