Don't make staff cuts to pay living wage

I have worked at Marks and Spencer for nearly 43 years. I started in the company as a sales advisor and was promoted to a manager for 39 years, working in a number of stores in different management roles. I am a valued member of staff, respected by my team, peers and senior management. I have a long history as a proud M&S ambassador.

I have always been so loyal which is why it feels upsetting to have to speak out now. 

In February the Government announced that the minimum wage would be increased to £8.50 an hour, and renamed the 'national living wage', because this was the amount deemed sufficient for a person to live on. In order to meet this new minimum wage Marks and Spencer are attempting to make cuts to employees' income in other areas.

They have announced a consultation period -- without a clear timeline -- proposing the following cuts:

- Cuts to pay on Sundays, Bank Holidays and for working after 9pm, which we are currently paid extra for because of the unsociable hours.

- They are targeting staff who have been here the longest, staff who may have no other option but to take the cut because they have been working in their role for most of their lives, staff like me. My personal loss will be £1366 per year. Some of my colleagues will be much worse off.

Siobhain McDonagh MP has put this to the Prime Minister during PMQs:

"11,000 of M&S’s most loyal employees, many with over 14 years service, are about to get a serious pay cut – cuts to Sunday, bank holiday and antisocial hours pay, all made on the back of the national living wage, means they’ll take home less next year than they do this year."

- 11,000 of us will also have our pensions affected after they proposed closing the final salary pension scheme to new contributions. Existing members would be moved to a scheme which does not guarantee a set pension on retirement.

I’m calling on Marks and Spencer to think again and scrap these proposals that are targeting their most loyal staff. I am not alone in my views, and I have no bitter motivation -- I have enjoyed the best years of my life at M&S. I simply want to protect the values that M&S staff have come to expect from our employer.

*I've written this petition under a pseudonym to protect myself at work

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