Call for council to adopt ‘living wage’

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A CAMPAIGN has been launched to have a new minimum wage 
level set at East Riding Council.

Beverley Labour Party members and town councillors will be on the streets this weekend urging people to sign their petition calling for the “living wage” to be introduced at the authority.

This follows the rejection of a motion at the council last month to set up a committee to consider the issue.

All council staff are currently paid at least the minimum wage of £6.19 per hour. Adoption of the living wage would see the pay of the lowest paid workers rise to £7.45 per hour.

The council employs about 10,000 people including schools staff.

George McManus, Parliamentary spokesman for Beverley and Holderness Labour Party, said: “This is an idea which is gaining general support in both the private and public sectors.

“Private business leaders realise that paying a living wage is good for business, leading to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. The council are behind the pace on the issue.”

He added: “It’s a pity that our East Riding Council seems to have dismissed the idea for political reasons.

“This needn’t be a party political issue. Selby Council, which is Tory-controlled, has adopted the idea and Labour-controlled York Council will start paying its lowest paid workers £7.45 an hour from April 2013. I hope people will sign our petition.”

The living wage is an hourly rate calculated annually according to the basic cost of living but is adopted on a voluntary basis.

A council spokesman said: “We are considering the position but we haven’t come to a decision yet. A national pay claim has been put in by the trade unions but there has been no decision on the outcome of that and we are monitoring the situation.”