Council attacked on pay promise

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Hundreds of staff employed by Sheffield Council contractors have protested about their exclusion from a policy for workers to earn a ‘living wage’.

A group confronted ruling Labour members at a council meeting, saying hundreds of staff at contractors and schools are receiving the minimum wage of £6.31 – rather than the £7.45 living wage.

Coun Ben Curran, council cabinet member for finance, promised an investigation.

Opposition Liberal Democrats say 982 workers are missing out, while just 272 council staff have received a pay rise since the authority brought in a policy to pay the living wage.

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Liberal Democrat group leader, said his party would extend the policy to cover contractors. He said: “Labour politicians have been exposed as hypocrites. While they love to talk about the living wage, they’ve excluded hundreds of their own employees from the policy, while protecting the perks of highly paid council managers.”

Coun Curran said: “I am concerned about the allegation contractors and schools are looking to avoid paying the living wage. I will be investigating.”

The living wage is not legally enforceable, but aims to ensure all workers can afford basic living costs.

Its level is calculated by Loughborough University.

The minimum wage is set by the Government.

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