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Friday, December 9, 2016
Churches urged to pay 'Living Wage'
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¬†Churches of all denominations are failing to pay a 'Living Wage' to many of their lowest paid workers, new research shows this week. The report: 'A Living Wage Church?' published by Church Action on Poverty, (CAP) is based on a study of churches, Christian organisations and schools across Greater Manchester. The research found that out of a sample of 190 churches from the URC, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic and Church of England denominations, two thirds of staff (excluding clergy) were still being paid less than the 'Living Wage' of £5.80 per hour (which CAP defined in February). In addition to this, over half of the staff employed by Christian organisations in Greater Manchester and around 7,850 staff in church schools were being paid less than the 'Living Wage'. The research also showed that in many cases it would not cost the churches very much to increase wages to the level of the Living Wage. The average cost for Church staff would only be £13.00 per church per week. Launching the report, Niall Cooper, National Coordinator said: "The churches have been at the forefront of campaigns against poverty in the UK and have helped to achieve major changes in the living conditions of those living on the lowest incomes. However our research suggests that the churches are not putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to their own staff. We urge all denominations to look closely at their employment practices and take steps to pay all staff a Living Wage as a matter of urgency." Church Action on Poverty (CAP) undertook the research as a follow up to its campaign for a Living Wage, which was launched earlier this year on Unemployment Sunday 10 February 2002. The campaign argued that the minimum wage was not enough and that what was needed was a 'Living Wage' where necessities were not considered to be luxuries and which allowed people to participate in the activities that many of us take for granted. CAP set the 'Living Wage' at £5.80 and called on churches to set the example by paying their staff the Living Wage, and to campaign for others to do likewise. Church Action on Poverty is an ecumenical Christian charity that works with church and community groups to make fighting poverty a priority. For more information visit: www.church-poverty.org.uk
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