Wage increases for lowest-paid council workers

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PAY rises are being brought in for Sheffield Council’s 275 lowest-paid staff after ruling Labour councillors decided to adopt a ‘living wage’.

The authority has decided to raise the lowest pay from the current national minimum wage of £6.19 to £7.20.

The level of the ‘living wage’ is set according to what experts believe is the minimum necessary to have a good standard of living.

Sheffield Council said it has decided to implement the higher rate from January after discussions with public sector union, Unison.

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore said: “A Sheffield Living Wage would help to reduce poverty in this city and I believe it is important that the council leads by example in this area, which is why I am committed to making sure that next year all council staff will receive a living wage.

“By implementing the Living Wage, no one will earn less than £7.20 per hour in the council and we will work with employers across the city, in other parts of the public sector, as well as the private and voluntary sectors, to make sure that this has a big impact across the city.

“This is an achievable, pragmatic way of supporting people on low incomes across the city and I am pleased that we are able to take it forward.”

Dean Harper, organiser for Sheffield Unison, said: “Unison have campaigned for a Living Wage and we are delighted that Labour are delivering this in Sheffield.

“One in five workers in the UK earn less than the living wage and we believe it’s vital that this is tackled.

“It is important that the council leads the way in this and makes sure that everyone earns a fair income.”

The council says that implementing the living wage will cost £70,000.

It will be met through some of the £1 million savings made by cuts to the number of senior management at the Town Hall.