Council hit with £85k living wage bill

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  • Council approved changes to meet Living Wage campaign targets
  • Hundreds of low-paid staff likely to be affected
  • Trade unions and headteachers consulted on changes before cabinet vote

Town hall chiefs in St Helens are set to be hit with a £85,000 bill after approving plans to move hundreds of low-paid workers on to a living wage.

The council’s top brass approved the plan to scrap its two lowest pay bandings.

The council currently uses the nationally agreed pay scales set out in the National Joint Council for Local Government Services

Brendan Farrell

Cabinet members agreed to the changes after consulting with trade union bosses and school headteachers.

It will mean workers in band A will move from an hourly rate of £7.11 to £7.19 to £7.29, while staff in band B will see their pay packet swell to £7.43 per hour.

Brendan Farrell, St Helens Council’s head of human resources, said the council was committed to implementing the living wage.

“A decision was taken by cabinet on July 30 2014 to implement phase one of this process by removing the bottom two spinal points of the council’s pay spine.

“The council currently uses the nationally agreed pay scales set out in the National Joint Council for Local Government Services, with locally agreed grading structure based on the outcome of the Pay and Grading Review and Job Evaluation Process.

“Whilst the monetary values of spinal points are set, councils have the discretion to organise the structure and bandings of spinal column points as they deem appropriate.”

The Living Wage campaign was started in the early 2000s by parents in east London who were frustrated that working two minimum wage jobs left no time for family life.