Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
allani

Living wage

Recommended Posts

Bang on the money (pun almost intended).

This isn't about closing any pay gap, but rather arresting the notion that people are effectively held in some sort of economic slavery. Everyone in this country who seeks employment should be earning a living wage. Unless you are contracted as a volunteer, semi-volunteer (whatever that even is - maybe a person of normalised retirement age who stewards at VP partly for the love of it, and partly to make some pocket money etc) then you should earn the living wage. I'd like to think the Club would treat all of it's staff that way.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Raver50032 said:

Bang on the money (pun almost intended).

This isn't about closing any pay gap, but rather arresting the notion that people are effectively held in some sort of economic slavery. Everyone in this country who seeks employment should be earning a living wage. Unless you are contracted as a volunteer, semi-volunteer (whatever that even is - maybe a person of normalised retirement age who stewards at VP partly for the love of it, and partly to make some pocket money etc) then you should earn the living wage. I'd like to think the Club would treat all of it's staff that way.

The article doesn't make it clear whether all PL clubs responded with information about the wages they pay (or whether AVFC were a PL club at the time the data was gathered) so it is possible that we already do pay everyone a living wage.  However, I'd love to know that we were paying above the VLW not so that we can boast about being better than anyone else or claim some media brownie points - but just because it feels like the right thing to do and the thing that a properly run club that cares about its staff, fans and community would do.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a tricky one. Firstly it's not up to individual businesses to make sure that their employees earn enough, it's up to the government to ensure that people have enough income to sustain a reasonable life. Also I would assume that a football club would have a lot of part time staff who may only work on matchdays. A student or retiree or normal joe down the road might like getting his few pound for working a few hours on matchday eventhough he is technically on minimum wage. It's not as simple as just pay the living wage and we're great. It's more an issue for government than for industry IMO, however everyone knows the government won't sort things like economic traps out ever. 

Edited by villa89
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming from a specialism in labour management within the hospitality industry, I agree somewhat with @villa89 in that business has to want to pay more, mostly because the government doesn't force their hand to do so.  If you offer a minimum wage, my experience tells me that the company will control costs by paying the set minimums in a competitive jobs market.  Quite often, there is no volition to pay greater hourly rates because employees are easily replaced.  It's free market economics.

That's not to discredit the arguments made by @allani because i'm in agreement, a privileged employer should do the right thing and it's not like they employ 10 thousand people at low wages like a lot of the businesses in hospitality.  I don't necessarily agree with the view that it will make the club a standout employer.  Four clubs out of 20 or even 92 if that is the case, doesn't mean anything other than great PR for little gain i.e. within their own industry they would be unlikely to steal employees from other clubs because of it and within the local market, they would surely have a greater supply than demand at the already existing wage and they'd be unlikely to gain a higher quality of employee because of it.

Now, if the club want to stand up and be a leader in their industry by establishing particular employment practices or becoming a sustainable club (I recently visited Forest Green Rovers to learn a bit about what they do, it's achievable but not easy), then kudos to them, sign me up.

Edited by Tubby
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, villa89 said:

It's a tricky one. Firstly it's not up to individual businesses to make sure that their employees earn enough, it's up to the government to ensure that people have enough income to sustain a reasonable life. Also I would assume that a football club would have a lot of part time staff who may only work on matchdays. A student or retiree or normal joe down the road might like getting his few pound for working a few hours on matchday eventhough he is technically on minimum wage. It's not as simple as just pay the living wage and we're great. It's more an issue for government than for industry IMO, however everyone knows the government won't sort things like economic traps out ever. 

I disagree on the first point.  Businesses should be paying their employees a good enough wage.  Obviously not all staff will work full-time so may need to have more than 1 part-time role - but their average wage should be at a level where they can sustain a reasonable life by working a reasonable number of hours.  However, given that a reputable independent source has highlighted that the national minimum wage is too low to support a reasonable standard of living - all I am saying is that I think Villa should recognise and exceed even their advised level.  Obviously, the staff who only work on match days would need other sources of income - but for the hours that they work at AVFC I think it would be good for them to be paid more than the minimum wage and more than the VLM.  I think for a club like Villa that prides itself on its family / community feel - a generous staff payment model would feel more in tune with our ethos than just paying a minimum wage set by government.  To use a bad supermarket analogy - we should feel more Waitrose than Asda in the way we treat and remunerate our staff (assuming that still holds true because I have been out of the UK for a while now).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a time with hundreds of millions spent and player wages soaring it is quite frankly ridiculous that this is even an topic in football. The discussion goes to free market economics and PR ect but should really be about ethics and long term sustainability for anyone involved with any club, from fans (ticket prices ect) to low level employees.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Tubby - I agree that there are many ways in which Villa, or any other business, can reward staff / be a standout employer other than just through higher wages.  And I am sure that there are plenty of Villa fans who would be very happy to work at probably even below the minimum wage as they probably feel that they are even closer to the club they love and support.  I am not really interested in the exercise of raising wages just for good PR.  It's just that paying the minimum wage (or ideally less) seems like something that Ashley does at Newcastle.  We are Aston Villa, we're an old, historic club that prides itself on its reputation and place within its local community.  It just feels like we should be doing something different, something good, something better.  Call me an old romantic fool but that's what I think makes us Aston Villa.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vaguely remember there was a campaign a few years ago to encourage Villa to sign up to the living wage and I thought there was a positive response from the club.

Looks like words didn't convert into actions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, briny_ear said:

I vaguely remember there was a campaign a few years ago to encourage Villa to sign up to the living wage and I thought there was a positive response from the club.

Looks like words didn't convert into actions?

We might not have been included in the list of PL clubs depending upon when they did the study / analysis.  But the fact that they did call out Luton - suggests that there are probably not many clubs outside the PL doing it.  Also last year we had a lot of other **** to deal with in terms of the financial stability of the club.  But now we appear to be back to a stable financial position, an intelligent / capable Board, etc - it feels like this is something we could really push again now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, allani said:

@Tubby - I agree that there are many ways in which Villa, or any other business, can reward staff / be a standout employer other than just through higher wages.  And I am sure that there are plenty of Villa fans who would be very happy to work at probably even below the minimum wage as they probably feel that they are even closer to the club they love and support.  I am not really interested in the exercise of raising wages just for good PR.  It's just that paying the minimum wage (or ideally less) seems like something that Ashley does at Newcastle.  We are Aston Villa, we're an old, historic club that prides itself on its reputation and place within its local community.  It just feels like we should be doing something different, something good, something better.  Call me an old romantic fool but that's what I think makes us Aston Villa.

Practices and beliefs are certainly changing across industries in many different ways but in my opinion, wages will be one of the last to move, not unless governments force the hand. 

Absolutely, individual businesses can make a stand.  For instance, it is a particular attribute required to embed improvements in sustainability within an existing industry however, there is a business case that supports improvements in sustainability practices insomuch as the opportunity cost of inaction.  Sadly, wages are a direct cost of operations and therefore offer little value even in businesses seeking to do the right thing. 

Ultimately, at some point in the future, AI or technology will probably replace these types of jobs anyway so perhaps this is all for nought regardless..?

Edited by Tubby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With how much money that's moving around in the game these days. I'd love it if Aston Villa took it upon themselves to be a more philanthropic football club. 

Not only in terms of wages, but also in running community projects. Like Fredrikstad FC in Norway that runs the street team. 

"The street team is a low-threshold offering for drug-addicted men and women, organized by the club. Who three days a week will play, usually 15-20 in the number, at the Stadium where they both get a meal, and a workout - and a positive, social experience together."

Now that's quite off topic.

I'm quite optimistic that the supporters could affect the club in their policy. Then again it might be a very reasonable explanation for the below living wage as @villa89 pointed out. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strictly speaking Villa are in a competitive market, so it should be on the government to level up the playing field. 

However the reality is that for a business with the kind of turnover we are talking about, outside of that generated by low waged labour, they have no excuse not to pay everybody enough to live on. They can easily absorb the cost, or pass it on to us and we will barely even notice it. I'd happily pay an extra 5p for a Balti Pie if I knew that the person serving me wasn't being exploited. 

As an aside people who come to work less worried about how they're going to cobble together enough money to pay the gas bill tend to be more motivated. I'm not sure that Villa paying enough money to do that on a pro-rata basis is going to ensure we get our pies quicker, but if nobody does anything then nothing changes. And this current government certainly aren't going to stick their hand up. 

I'm in. 

Edited by dont_do_it_doug.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could this be out the club at the next supporters meeting? I think the club has a responsibility to pay a living wage. I know we now think of football as a business and it is, however the roots of our club are in the community and the people that support that community. 

I'm with DDID, pass the cost onto fans if needs be, although I'm not sure this would be popular across the board with the fanbase.

You hear it often, but the football staff at clubs really care about the teams around them, the cleaners, caterers, office staff. Because these people are the lifeblood of the club, often they do their job for with a passion not seen in other industries.

To steal a phrase, I want to be romantically nourished by my football club. I still think of the club as a community, and I'm encouraged to do so by club marketing by 'being part of the pride'. 

Well the ladies and gents that serve the food and drink, clean the toilets, sell programs, whatever, they're part of the pride too. I do also understand that much of this sort of work is done temporarily or through an agency. That doesn't really matter to me let's look after them if we can. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@PompeyVillan thank you for making the extra link that I should have made originally if only I had thought about it!!!  This absolutely fits into the "being part of the pride" for me.  To me this is not just a good marketing tag-line - it sums up the sense of community and our pride in that (pun very much intended) that I feel is so important to club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in favour of appropriate businesses paying appropriate wages but if this is a discussion about the ethical direction of the club, are we all pleased to be sponsored by multiple betting firms and a cryto-currency trader?

If we are willing to raise the ethical pay of staff at the supporters club meeting, we should be as willing to demand that the club steer clear of betting firms and speculators... in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Tubby said:

I'm in favour of appropriate businesses paying appropriate wages but if this is a discussion about the ethical direction of the club, are we all pleased to be sponsored by multiple betting firms and a cryto-currency trader?

If we are willing to raise the ethical pay of staff at the supporters club meeting, we should be as willing to demand that the club steer clear of betting firms and speculators... in my opinion.

I'm a gambler, and I own crypto and I agree with you 100%, it would be great to to pay all employees a fair wage, however this doesn't change our moral compass.

Leave the bigger ethical picture out of it and just keep this on point. Better wages for the underpaid.

If Aston Villa was to strive to be a purely ethical company, that would take many years to implement and probably disadvantage us against the best clubs and see us in a lower division. However sad that makes me, it is the truth.

Edited by Villan_of_oz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few years back, the Living Wage Foundation got some real traction, they were pushing all Premier league teams to pay the Living Wage Foundation's Living Wage, and they were getting lots and lots of publicity and attention. The Government protected industry in a spectacularly simple way - they renamed the Minimum wage and called it the Living Wage. It created enough confusion that people weren't sure who was asking for what and it cut the legs off the Living Wage Foundation. It's good to know that it's finding it's way back into the public eye again.

One of the issues though is how this works in terms of its effect on the local labour market - the people that serve you a beer on the Holte End or put a plate in front of you in Hospitality don't work for Aston Villa - they work for a local agency. They're the same people that put a pint in your hand or a plate in front of you at Resorts World Arena, or the Botanical gardens, or West Brom, or The ICC, or Silverstone, or Warwick Races or any of the places you might find catering enterprises that don't open in the same way every day.

If Villa were to unilaterally pay the LWF Living Wage, it'd have an effect on those places - it might end up being a good effect, it could be that it would start a wave that would result in the government being forced to raise the Living (Minimum) Wage and create better circumstances for working people - that's the LWF plan. The problem with it in isolation is that those companies who maybe aren't as profitable as Villa, like perhaps the Albion, or local shops, or the people that pay our bus drivers or our cleaners, or our factory workers would save that money by putting other people out of work or changing the way they employ people, or delivering service that's cheaper, or worse or more expensive to the customer - those business' can't afford to absorb those costs unless the entire market is absorbing those costs - unless the playing field is level.

For me, control of minimum wage is a function of government - sadly our government goes out of its way to keep it as low as possible to "encourage business". Of course, in a modern world, that means encouraging business to pay its decision makers obscene salaries whilst emptying the pockets of those who create that wealth, but I think we change that with a vote, not with patchwork solutions. 

I'd love to see the people on minimum wage at Villa Park earning more, but it only really makes sense if it's applied everywhere - if doing it in football helps achieve that, then good, but if it's a sole enterprise, it might do more harm than good.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...
Â