Published: June 2018
Author(s): David Etherington, Robert Jeffrey, Robert Thomas, Jenni Brooks, David Beel, Martin Jones

The Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise (SNAP) is a campaign that has been initiated by Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC). The impetus for the campaign was the earlier creation of the Britain Needs A Pay Rise organising theme by the national Trades Union Congress1 in the autumn of 2014. STUC has sought to develop this campaign on a more grassroots basis. Secondly, STUC was struck by a series of reports by the Resolution Foundation, which showed that the City of Sheffield has the largest proportion of its workforce paid below the National Living Wage (NLW) and has suffered the largest pay drop of the UK Core Cities since the onset of the 2008 recession. Sheffield City Council’s Tackling Poverty Strategy Annual Update has, along with Sheffield TUC and local trade unions, highlighted the increase in precarious and insecure work. This has been characterised by oppressive working conditions, negative management practices, a lack of worker protection, and the hollowing out of employment rights, alongside increased social or economic vulnerability.
Sheffield TUC commissioned Middlesex, Staffordshire and Sheffield Hallam University (in late 2017) to undertake an evidence review on low pay and precarious work to support the SNAP campaign. The research essentially involves policy scoping (qualitative and quantitative sources) and a literature review, alongside stakeholder mapping (trade unions officials, workers, community activists, policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders in general). The research raises awareness and discussion regarding low pay and precarious work from the perspective of workers, trade unions and civil society organisations