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GMB secures Real Living Wage for MK’s street cleaners

GMB, the union for public service workers, have won their fight for street cleaners to be paid the Real Living Wage, thanks to an agreement secured by GMB with Serco, and which will be backed and financed by Milton Keynes Council.

MK Council is a living wage employer and now all employees and contracted employees receive the real living wage, as opposed to the National living wage, with no exceptions.  This means that by May of 2020, no-one will earn less than £9.30 an hour.

From the street-cleaning team, some 64 individuals have now been given a substantial increase in their pay to the real living wage, which will be worth more than 6 per cent.

This move from Serco signals the last of the teams employed and contracted by Milton Keynes Council to be paid a minimum of the real living wage, and it was championed within the Council by Cabinet member for Public Realm, Councillor Emily Darlington.

Richard Owen, Regional Organiser for GMB, said:

“It’s a testament to Labour-led MK Council’s commitment to being a living wage employer that we’ve been able to work on securing this uplift in pay from Serco, well ahead of contract renewal in 2023.

“These employees are now guaranteed to receive the real living wage into the future so this will make a real difference to this team and their families.

“I believe that we should recognise that it is vital for working people to be protected by Unions, and that outsourcing of essential public services will lead to a drive to the bottom for the individuals who work there.

“By working in partnership with progressive Political Leaders, we can help to advance the interests of ordinary, hard-working people.”

Emily Darlington, MK Cabinet member for Public Realm, said:

“Serco are the Council’s largest single contractor so it was really important to bring their contract in line with the commitment MK Council has made to being a living wage employer.

“As a Labour-led Council we’re proud to be a living wage employer and championing the fight for the real living wage.

“The Tories have created a toxic environment of in-work poverty thanks to low minimum wage and zero hours contracts, seeing more and more working families relying on food banks. I can say for sure that if the Tories were in control of MK Council we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this outcome.

“I’m delighted to see that all of our employees and contracted employees will now benefit from receiving a minimum of the real living wage to be able to support them and their families.

Posted: 27th February 2020

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