Friday, 28 February 2020

Health workers to petition the Government

We have received this urgent plea from Medact (Medical Action for Global Security). If you are or have been a health worker in its widest sense, please consider signing this letter to the Government to end the poverty divide.
‘The findings of the recent Marmot review throw into stark relief the health inequalities caused by austerity. It links choices made in our economic, social and political system to negative and avoidable health outcomes.
That is why we need your help to call on the Government to put health and wellbeing at the centre of the upcoming budget, and turn this historic decline in life expectancy and health.
The findings of the report are shocking, things have gotten worse. There is a 12 year difference in the life expectancy between those who reside in the most deprived regions compared to those who live in our wealthiest places. There has been a noted increase in the avoidable deaths between 2010 and 2017. Overall the findings clearly show the burden of inequalities in our society falls the hardest on women, children, disabled people and ethnic minorities.
You can read the full report here:
We need your help to call on the Government to intervene in a systematic and sustained way. We want you to ask the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to make the upcoming Government Budget one that transforms people’s health and wellbeing.
Sign the petition and spread the word:
In the lead up to Budget Day, we need to show that health workers are coming together to call on the Government to put health and wellbeing at the centre of this budget, and turn around this historic decline in life expectancy and health.
You can help us further by sharing this petition with 5 of your friends. Also, you can get in touch with us if you would like a paper copy of this petition to take around your workplace:

Thanks for all that you do,
Economic Justice Campaigner

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Five years of Lewes Living Wage; a report

We now have over 30 local employers signed up to pay the Real Living Wage in Lewes. This is the result of five years’ work by a small group of volunteers. During this time we have engaged in a number of activities (see list below), some more successful than others. Our aim has been to make our relatively prosperous town (population 18,000) aware of the need to tackle poverty through improving rates of pay in our area of exceptionally high rents and scarce social housing. We have three foodbanks which are used by an increasing number of people, currently over 275, and we work with these foodbanks.

While we have a number of national organisations with branches in Lewes which are signed up to the Living Wage Foundation, we have been unable to persuade any supermarkets to join, despite persistent lobbying, sometimes at the highest level.

A brief list of some of our activities
- create and update leaflets: distribute them wherever we can
- staff stalls at Farmers’ market, Societies Fair, Labour Party Town Hall event
- set up and maintain a website
- keep in touch with our list of 50 supporters informing about local developments
- publish letters and news items in national and local press
- write articles for local media - Viva Lewes,  Lewes News
- interviews on local Rocket FM Radio
- address meetings: Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Think Tank, Headstrong Club, Lewes Rotary
- keep in touch with Lewes Churches Together
- U3A Lewes Public Lecture by Professor Donald Hirsch on the Real Living Wage
- window display at Lewes Tourist Information Office during Living Wage Week
- speak and leaflet at Depot Cinema showings of I Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You
- made a short film about Lewes Living Wage for our website
- organised a round table forum for local businesses
- held lunch in the Town Hall for local businesses
- we write and speak to our local MP
- we lobby Town and District Councils

Our Town Council now pays the Real Living Wage and has supported us with small grants, and the District Council is now working toward this.

We live once again in a time of the ‘working poor’.  Over 70% of the 4 million children growing up in poverty are in families with a parent in work. The need for a REAL LIVING WAGE remains a pressing issue and we shall continue our campaign.

Monday, 11 November 2019

New Living Wage rates

The real Living Wage has increased to £9.30 per hour outside London. It's now £10.75 in London. The rate applies to people over 18, unlike the government minimum, which is for those over 25.

In the Lewes area over 30 employers are signed up to pay this rate, with a wide range from solicitors to jewellers to charities. There are three organisations on the list who provide care for people in their own homes: Home Instead Senior Care, Sun Rose Care and Southover Community Care.

We are in Living Wage Week, and on Saturday 16th, screenings of Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach's new film about the gig economy will start at Depot and members of Lewes Living Wage will be there to provide information. Employers who pay the real Living Wage are helping to counter low paid and insecure work, which leaves many families below the poverty line in Lewes as elsewhere. Many of the people who have to use three Lewes food banks are in paid work.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

New employers signed up

South East Wood Fuels, John Gosnell & Co Ltd and Southover Community Care have all signed up to pay the real Living Wage. For full list see "Signed up" page.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

New Living Wage rate

The new rate for the Living Wage has been announced. It is £9 per hour outside London, and the rate in the capital is now £10.55. 

The real Living Wage is calculated annually by researchers at Loughborough University and based on what people really need to live. The rate applies to all employees over 18, whereas the current government minimum) which increases in April 2019) is £7.83 for those over 25, £5.90 for ages 18-20 and £7.38 for ages 21-24.

Lewes for a Living Wage works with the Living Wage Foundation and with the local Living Wage Brighton and Hove campaign. 

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Living Wage Week

To celebrate Living Wage Week there is a display in the tourist information centre window from 2nd to 9th November. Lewes for a Living Wage is proud that around 30 employers in the Lewes area have now signed up or become accredited to pay the real Living Wage. This is currently £8.75 per hour and based on research on what people really need to live. A new rate will be announced on 5th November, and the week runs until 10th. Look out for the new rate in our window, see the list of employers and learn more about why the Living Wage is needed in Lewes.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Societies Fair

We were at Societies Fair on 1st September in the Town Hall and we are planning a display in the Tourist Information Centre window for Living Wage Week at the beginning of November. Our new display poster will be on show on the Lewes Pound stall at Lewes Farmers' Market this Saturday and on the first Saturday of every month.

In the last few months two new businesses in this area have become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. They are Gossypium, who make organic cotton yoga wear, and The Green Man’s Garden who do garden design and maintenance with ecology in mind. Both are based in Newhaven.

Five jewellers in Lewes are now signed up and/or accredited to pay the Living Wage. They are: