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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Living wage help for staff on low pay

LOW paid staff at Copeland Borough Council are set for a boost after councillors voted to give them a pay increase.

Copeland Borough councillors have agreed to pay all their employees a ‘living wage’ of £7.45 backing a motion proposed by Councillor Sam Pollen at the last full council meeting.

This means the likes of cleaning staff, who are paid £6.63 per hour will now receive £7.45, over the course of a 37-hour week staff will receive an extra £30.34.

The council is one of a growing number of local authorities and businesses supporting the campaign to increase the pay of those on the lowest wages.

It joins Birmingham City Council, the London Boroughs of Hounslow, Lambeth, Camden, Islington and Lewisham, Oxford Council and Preston Council.

Cllr Pollen said: “I’m delighted the council has backed my proposal to introduce the living wage.

“The move will see the small number of council employees who currently earn less than the current living wage level of £7.45 receiving an increase in pay.

“Copeland Borough Council currently pays all job roles above the national minimum wage of £6.19 per hour.”

The move is set to affect 12 members of staff.

Councillor John Bowman, portfolio holder for performance and transformation said “Whilst the council is facing tough economic times it is still important that we give our employees a decent standard of living.

“By introducing the living wage we are helping staff at the lower end of the pay scale to achieve a better standard of living.

“We feel it is our duty as an employer to do what we can to help those who need it most.”

The cost to Copeland Borough Council of the change is set to be approximately £7,700 per year.

The living wage is a calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

It is expressed as an hourly rate set independently and updated annually in November.

The rate for 2012/13 is £7.45 per hour outside London.

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