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Living Wage to be brought in at council
3:00pm Saturday 4th August 2012 in News
MORE than 720 workers are to get a pay rise after Thurrock Council pledged to introduce a Local Living Wage.
The move will cost the council £63,000 in all, with cleaners, cooks, housekeepers, theatre ushers and receptionists among those set for an earnings boost.
It means staff will be paid the minimum Living Wage of £7.20 per hour, the rate of pay believed to be the amount that enables households to sufficiently provide for themselves.
At a full meeting of the council last week, the motion was passed, with councillors from all parties voting in favour.
Council leader John Kent said the introduction of the scheme is a small price to pay for the benefit of hundreds of staff.
The council will now look to persuade partners and contractors to join the scheme.
Cllr Kent was one of those who supported the motion. Speaking during the meeting he said: “This motion comes when the council is under great financial pressure, it comes on the same day we hear the economy has shrunk 0.7 per cent and when we are in the worst double dip recession.
“But this should not deter us from supporting our lowest paid staff.”
Speaking afterwards, he said: “I was shocked when I was told what some people here take home.
“Everybody hears about the wages of top people at the council and sadly it seems every single person who works for the authority is judged by that standard.
“Yet there are workers who earn less than £7.20 an hour and that, quite simply, is not right.”
Cllr Martin Healy, who proposed the motion, said: “All councillors who supported this motion to introduce a Living Wage can be very proud.
“A Living Wage will make recruitment easier for some posts and simply means ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’.”
Tory Cllr Mike Revell questioned how the council would fund the increases.
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