Date Released: 03 July 2014
SIPTU has endorsed the setting of a Living Wage for workers in Ireland of €11.45 per hour, as calculated by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ).
At a press conference in Dublin today (Thursday, 3rd July) it was announced that the Living Wage Technical Group, which was established by the VPSJ, has calculated a Living Wage of €11.45 per hour. This Living Wage would allow workers and their families to fully participate in society and ensure they did not fall into poverty.
Commenting on the document produced by the Living Wage Technical Group, SIPTU Economist, Marie Sherlock, said: “This work represents a very important starting point in the battle to improve the living standards of low paid workers across this State. It follows on from efforts made in the UK and the US and elsewhere to calculate a minimum acceptable standard of living for workers and casts a sharp light on the significant gap between wage rates prevailing in certain low paid sectors of the Irish economy and the national minimum wage.”
She added: “The challenge now is to implement these wage rates and through the system of Joint Labour Committees, SIPTU will be working to improve the terms and conditions of an estimated 166,000 low paid workers, some 9% of those in employment across the State.”
Director of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice, Bernadette Mac Mahon, said: “The experience of the VPSJ in working with low income households demonstrated the struggle of many families and individuals to make ends meet when dependent on the National Minimum Wage.”
She added: “The subsequent and ongoing research of the VPSJ establishes the facts and figures for a minimum essential standard of living and provides the basis for the development of a living wage, one which meets physical, psychological and social needs and will help to reduce the level of poverty in Ireland.”
The Living Wage Technical Group plans to update its calculation of a Living Wage on an annual basis. An executive summary and the full technical paper published by the group is available on the website www.livingwage.ie