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Dawn Primarolo, Labour MP for Bristol South, has visited the Hospital Education Service, which provides education for young people who are unable to attend school, at the Fairfield Resource Centre. 

 

The aim is to provide a balanced and relevant curriculum to pupils with a wide range of needs.

Young people with severe or chronic illness which keeps them away from school can receive 5 hours education at home or more if they are able to attend the Centre.

 

Dawn said,

 

“It was very interesting learning more about the work of the Hospital Education Service and the challenges ahead.

 

“I met some fantastic young people who despite their illness are working really hard and are ambitious for their future.”

Hospital Education Service

Dawn Primarolo, Labour MP for Bristol South, has visited the Hospital Education Service, which provides education for young people who are unable to attend school, at the Fairfield Resource Centre. ...

Last Monday the rate of the Living Wage rose to £7.85 an hour, and at the same time research revealed that more than a fifth of UK workers still earn less than the previous figure of £7.65 an hour. Despite the fact that hundreds of employers have already signed up to the Living Wage more than 5 million people are still not paid at a level which will provide a basic but acceptable standard of living.

 

Amongst those worst affected are bar staff, sales & retail assistants and waiters & waitresses.

 

Despite what opponents claim, paying a Living Wage is good for business as it reduces absenteeism, enhances the quality of staff work and saves money on recruitment. It also makes employees more willing to make changes to their own working practices.

 

If we want to live in a more equal society then low pay must be tackled. An incoming Labour Government next year will take steps to encourage, support and incentivise employers to adopt the Living Wage. This will not only mean better pay for thousands of workers, it will also save the taxpayer money by reducing expenditure on in-work benefits.

 

However the rise in consumer activism means that we can all play a part in ensuring our fellow citizens are decently paid. In recent years we have seen successful campaigns to encourage and promote Fairtrade goods produced in developing countries. Closer to home Bristol has a strong tradition of supporting local independent stores.

 

On the High Street it is now quite normal to buy Fairtrade coffee and many retailers have ethical supply chain policies. But often this does not appear to extend to their own lowest paid employees.

 

According to the Fairtrade Foundation, in order to be certified Fairtrade, producers who are not already paying the local living wage must ensure “annual increases on workers’ real wages towards living wage”. This is only right.

 

Isn’t it also time that those shops, bars and cafes which support and sell Fairtrade goods start paying their staff the Living Wage too?

 

So the next time you pop into a coffee shop or a café bar spare a thought for the hard pressed person who serves you your cappuccino or latte. Are they being paid the Living Wage? Would you be prepared to pay a few extra pence if they were?

 

We should all seek out accredited Living Wage Employers in the same way we do for other ethical labels, and support those companies that pay their staff a decent wage.

 

This first appeared in the Bristol Post 11 November 2014

Dawn calls for consumer action on Living Wage

Last Monday the rate of the Living Wage rose to £7.85 an hour, and at the same time research revealed that more than a fifth of UK workers still earn...

Karin Smyth at Bristol Festival of Health Ideas

 

Last month Karin Smyth spoke on health matters at the Bristol Festival of Health Ideas.

 

You can see watch what she had to say here.

Karin Smyth speaks on Health at Bristol's Festival of Ideas

Karin Smyth at Bristol Festival of Health Ideas   Last month Karin Smyth spoke on health matters at the Bristol Festival of Health Ideas.   You can see watch what...

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