Carers for vulnerable not paid basic living wage in Redbridge

Redbridge Labour deputy leader Wes Streeting has pledged to give all carers a London living wage.

Redbridge Labour deputy leader Wes Streeting has pledged to give all carers a London living wage.

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People caring for the most vulnerable people in Redbridge are not paid a basic reasonable wage, it is claimed.

People contracted by the council to look after people with dementia and the disabled earn less than £8.80 an hour, which is considered a reasonable ‘living wage’ in London by campaigners.

Deputy council leader Ian Bond said the authority would have to make 100 people redundant in order to pay carers the required rate.

But speaking during a debate at the headquarters of campaign group Redbridge Citizens last night, Labour opposition deputy leader, Cllr Wes Streeting, accused the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition of getting its priorities wrong.

Council leader keith Prince hit back by claiming the authority could be taken to court for not opting for the cheapest contractor.

He said: “There are issues around EU procurement law and we could be taken to court if we refuse to use services because they do not pay the living wage.

“We can encourage them and we would like to see every service pay the living wage, we will do everything we can within the law.”

Cllr Bond also insisted the council had limited options when dealing with the issue.

He said: ““We can only say a maybe to paying every contracted out carer a living wage.

“It would be extremely difficult to give everyone this as we would have to make the equivalent cuts of making 100 council workers redundant.

“We would obviously like to see higher wages for carers but we would need to find a satisfactory way of doing it and I can’t see one at the moment.”

But Cllr Streeting insisted the council leadership could do more.

He said: “It is time for the council to get its priorities right and pay contracted out staff a living wage. It is so important and there is an opportunity to ensure all carers are provided with the living wage.

“It will take negotiations and won't happen overnight but Labour is committed to making it happen in Redbridge.”

Comments (1)

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2:00pm Wed 7 May 14

mdj says...

'There are issues around EU procurement law..'

A handy excuse, but it happens to be true. A party that was in power for so many years without changing the situation has nowhere to hide now.

Where the Left's opposition to the EU disappeared to is one of the great mysteries of modern politics.
Back in the 70s the more wide-awake parts of the TU movement and Labour party were very vocal about the penalties of joining the 'Rich Mens' Club'.
For a few years they could be lulled with the thought that wage rates were higher elsewhere in the EEC, but with expansion of borders and free movement of people it's a race to the bottom everywhere.
I suppose the prospect of copying the Kinnock family gravy train stilled the tongues of the leadership.

This is why many people will vote UKIP who have no sympathy at all with the more barking pronouncements of some of its adherents.
'There are issues around EU procurement law..' A handy excuse, but it happens to be true. A party that was in power for so many years without changing the situation has nowhere to hide now. Where the Left's opposition to the EU disappeared to is one of the great mysteries of modern politics. Back in the 70s the more wide-awake parts of the TU movement and Labour party were very vocal about the penalties of joining the 'Rich Mens' Club'. For a few years they could be lulled with the thought that wage rates were higher elsewhere in the EEC, but with expansion of borders and free movement of people it's a race to the bottom everywhere. I suppose the prospect of copying the Kinnock family gravy train stilled the tongues of the leadership. This is why many people will vote UKIP who have no sympathy at all with the more barking pronouncements of some of its adherents. mdj
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