Launch of Living Wage Campaign for East Belfast

EastSide Partnership, through the Scaffolding Project, has launched the Living Wage Campaign for east Belfast, with the ambition to make east Belfast a Living Wage Place.

EastSide Partnership’s Scaffolding Project is made up of 10 community organisations working together to provide practical support to people impacted by poverty. Since 2017, the project has provided Holiday Hunger and School Uniform Recycling programmes. The project is now looking at ways to break the cycle of poverty by reducing levels of low pay in the area through the Living Wage Campaign for east Belfast.

The Living Wage Campaign for east Belfast aims to raise awareness of the real living wage among local employers, increase the number of people receiving the real living wage and begin a journey to make east Belfast a Living Wage Place.

Michele Bryans, Chief Executive of EastSide Partnership said:

“A significant number of employers in east Belfast have already signed up as living wage employers, including EastSide Partnership”

“The research shows that the living wage not only puts more money in people’s pockets, it makes good business sense as it improves productivity and staff retention cutting down on recruitment costs. This is a much-needed approach to reduce poverty in the midst of this cost-of-living crisis. We are grateful to Urban Villages NI for funding us to deliver the first living wage campaign in Northern Ireland for many years. We hope all those employers who can afford to pay the real living wage will join us.”

There are now over 11,000 organisations in the UK signed up as Living Wage Employers. According to the latest data from the Living Wage Foundation, Northern Ireland has consistently had the highest proportion of employee jobs paid below the real Living Wage in the UK. Currently, 21.3% of employers pay below the real living wage in Northern Ireland compared with 14.4% in Scotland and 17.9% in Wales. The region only has 55 organisations signed up as real living wage employers compared with 2800 in Scotland and 441 in Wales.

However, the numbers of employees receiving the living wage in Northern Ireland is growing and EastSide Partnership, through this campaign, hopes to encourage more employers to sign up to the Living Wage in east Belfast.

Graham Griffiths, Assistant Director of the Living Wage Foundation said:

"The Living Wage Foundation is delighted to see a Living Wage campaign emerge organically from the community in east Belfast. The number of employers accrediting as Living Wage employers has been growing in Northern Ireland putting more money into people's pockets at a time of record inflation. We look forward to working with the Scaffolding Project and supporting them with their campaign."

You can keep up to date with campaign progress on the EastSide Partnership Facebook and Twitter pages as well as a dedicated Living Wage for East Belfast Twitter page