Community Organising

Living Wage City Campaign

Our vision is simple - we would like everyone in Colchester to be paid the Real Living Wage. Let's make Colchester not just the first city, but a fair city which delivers fair pay for all. With Colchester ranking 2nd highest in Essex for numbers of families in absolute low income, Colchester has an in-work poverty problem. We want to get as many employers in Colchester signed up and accredited so that more workers can meet the cost of living - and not need to use the foodbank.

Too many people who live and work in Colchester, Essex are unable to afford the essentials, experiencing in-work poverty. Many families experience financial hardship despite having working adults in the household and this is due to low pay. 69% of families experiencing absolute low income are in work. Colchester is home to many micro businesses and traditionally low-pay sectors such as retail, hospitality, and care, which means a disproportionate number of people work in low-pay or insecure occupations; this contributes significantly to poverty and hardship in the city.


This is a local, community led campaign

The Campaign Group is made up of leaders from a broad range of local employers that want to do more to make Colchester a fair city which delivers fair pay for all. The group consists of Colchester Foodbank, representatives from local SMEs and the Voluntary sector – all of whom are accredited living wage employers and care deeply about the campaign for fair pay. With such broad and diverse representation, the group is able to represent the concerns of the communities of Colchester in working towards Living Wage Place status.


Creating an Action Group

Creating an Action Group will help us achieve Living Place status. By joining the Campaign Action Group, increased participation will raise awareness of our campaign and will add vigour and momentum to our activity, helping us to inspire more employers to become accredited. Becoming a designated Living Wage City will raise awareness of our campaign and will add vigour and momentum to our activity, helping us to persuade more employers to become accredited.


The Living wage is good for business, good for our community, and good for Colchester

The Living Wage is proven to not only be good for the recipients of uplifted pay, but also for their families, communities, and for the businesses they work for. Employers benefit from improved staff recruitment and retention, strengthened reputation, and improved relations between staff and management. Paying a Living Wage can reduce staff turnover, absence and training costs – providing financial and operational benefits to the business. Much of this money goes back into the community as people spend their money locally. 


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