School staff strike over refusal on living wage

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SCHOOL staff who work for a private company after their jobs were “outsourced” by a council went on strike yesterday in a row over the so-called living wage.

The workers, who are employed in Sheffield, have been told employer Carillion will not follow the lead of the city council, which will pay direct employees £7.45 an hour from next month.

Yesterday’s action, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, was led by the GMB union, with workers also staging a demonstration in the city centre.

Regional officer Peter Davies said: “Most of the city’s lowest paid workers in schools and other public services have been outsourced to contractors over successive administrations.

“Where this has happened these Sheffield Council contractors are refusing to honour the rise to £7.45 per hour for the city’s lowest paid employees.

“Council contractors were all quick to follow the City pay freeze but when there is something on the table for the lowest paid they suddenly run for the shadows.

“The only way these workers will get the living wage is to fight for it through sustained industrial action.”