As the voluntary Living Wage increases from £7.85 to £8.25 per hour (from £9.15 to £9.40 in London) we take a look at some of the UK’s Living Wage-accredited co-ops.
Golden Ball Pub
Full time staff: 1
Part time staff: 8
York’s Grade II listed Golden Ball was taken over by the local community in 2012 to stop its possible closure. “The pub is run by a co-op of about 200 members,” says Beth Maguire, pub manager.
“Part of the ethos agreed on at the start was that we valued our staff and invested in them. They are what makes the pub what it is. We felt Living Wage Foundation accreditation was important to show that a business like ours can pay the Living Wage rate, that it is financially viable to pay your staff a decent wage and still be successful. If we can do it, so can others.”
Capital Credit Union
Full time staff: 13
Part time staff: 6
Capital Credit Union was established in 1989 and is one of the largest credit unions in the UK, with more than 19,000 members and over £25m in assets.
“Every Capital Credit Union employee is paid the living wage, from our cleaner to our member services officers,” said Alison Scott, head of member services and business development.
“We became an accredited employer this summer and it’s something we’re really excited about. It’s something we’ve been looking to do for a while. It goes hand in hand with our ethos: people helping people.”
Belfast Cleaning Society
Part time staff: 6/7
Casual staff: About 75
Belfast Cleaning Society has been running for just over three years. Between them, the founding members have over 90 years of cleaning experience in domestic and industrial settings.
“All our staff/members are paid the living wage,” says Alice McLarnon. “We’re a workers co-operative. There is no hierarchy. [Casual staff] are paid exactly the same as members.
“We value ourselves […] and we will keep salaries in line with the living wage. If we feel it should be higher and the co-op can afford it we put this to the members and a vote will be taken.”
Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency, London
Full time staff: 24
Part time staff: 2
Founded in 1982, GCDA has played a leading role in transforming Greenwich through support for a range of development projects. Claire Pritchard, CEO, says making sure people are paid a proper salary is an important part of the organisation’s core values. “We’ve been implementing the London Living Wage for a number of years, but only signed up for accreditation this year. We encourage all our suppliers and we also embed within our training, saying ‘if you want a sustainable business and believe in sustainability, then you have to pay the London Living Wage’.”
STEP Academy Trust
Staff: 300+ over 7 academy schools
STEP Academy Trust was established in May 2011 after two primary schools in North Croydon entered into a partnership, which developed into STEP (Striving Together for Excellence in Partnership) Academy Trust. Since 2011, STEP has grown to include seven academies Greater London, and now runs with the vision of achieving ‘educational transformation by establishing a growing family of academies that share core values, principles and aims’. STEP Academy Trust became a London Living Wage Employer in April 2015.
- Read more here about how the UK’s co-ops have been leading the way in paying employees the Living Wage.
In this article
- Alice McLarnon
- Belfast Cleaning Society
- Capital Credit Union
- Claire Pritchard
- golden ball pub
- Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency
- Living wage
- Northern Ireland
- STEP Academy Trust
- the Tennent's Vital music festival
- United Kingdom
- Wage Foundation
- Marie-Claire Kidd
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories