Council to extend ‘living wage’ salaries to 120 casual staff

James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York CouncilJames Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council
James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council
the first council in Yorkshire to pay the living wage to staff is to extend the right to casual employees.

York Council’s ruling Labour administration said the move would extend the benefit enjoyed by 570 council staff to 120 more workers.

Cleaners, administration assistants, traffic census staff and lunch supervisors in schools are among those who will see an increase in their pay.

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Campaigners argue the minimum wage does not meet the true basic cost of living and urge employers to go further and pay the living wage.

The living wage outside London is currently put at £7.65 per hour by the Living Wage Foundation compared to the national minimum wage of £6.31

Council leader James Alexander said: “Being the first local authority in Yorkshire to introduce the living wage is something York 
Labour is particularly proud of.

“My Labour colleagues and I thought it was unfair for the council to pay both permanent staff and those who work for our trading company the Living Wage, but not our casual staff. After a group debate we decided to proceed with closing this loop hole and extending this fairness to all.”

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The Labour group said funding the move would cost £13,000 in the current financial year which would come from council contingency funds.

In March, casual staff will transfer to the council trading company which pays the living wage.

York Council also has plans to build the living wage into contracts with outside companies from April.

Liberal Democrat group leader Keith Aspden said: “I am pleased that the Labour council listened to the proposal of Liberal Democrat councillors in a previous budget amendment to introduce the living wage.

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“It is important that all workers at City of York Council, including casual workers, can afford the essentials. We certainly support this measure. I hope that other organisations and businesses consider adopting the living wage.”