Living Wage bid 'vital first step' for council staff
MORE than 100 public employees are in line for a potential pay rise after Shire Hall bosses agreed to consider paying them the Living Wage.
The Labour group has been pushing for Gloucestershire County Council to adopt the Living Wage of £7.45 an hour – significantly higher than the minimum wage of £6.31 – for all staff who earn less.
But while the cost of a full-scale introduction to almost 900 employees has been ruled out for now as prohibitive, the council will vote on whether 119 directly-employed staff who earn less than £7.45 an hour should receive a Living Wage supplement.
For those staff, the rise would be worth up to an extra £2,500 a year.
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The council's Conservative cabinet yesterday agreed to officers drawing up a report costing the measure which will then be considered when the council sets its budget in February.
If approved, the commitment would have to be reviewed annually.
But Coun Steve Lydon (Lab, Dursley), who has led the battle to introduce the Living Wage at the authority, believes the latest development is a step in the right direction.
He said: "Introducing a Living Wage supplement for 119 council employees would be a vital first step forward and we welcome the cabinet's decision to consider it as part of the budget process.
"But a Living Wage supplement would only be the start of the journey.
"The Labour Party will continue to campaign for the creation of a Gloucestershire Living Wage. It is important that the county council leads by example."
Coun Mark Hawthorne (C, Quedgeley), leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Cabinet has agreed that the proposal should be worked up by officers as part of the budget process.
"All councillors will then decide whether the council adopts this policy during the budget meeting ."