Council reveals pay rise plan

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Recommendations to introduce a genuine living wage for council employees are to be debated by councillors.

If green-lit it will see the authority’s lowest paid employees having their hourly rates boosted from £7.85 to £8.75 – ending a four-year ‘pay freeze’.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It is important to pay a genuine living wage to people who help the council deliver essential services.

‘It isn’t right the council’s lowest paid workers have seen their pay frozen since 2014. When you take inflation and rising rents into account, it essentially amounts to a pay cut.

‘Whilst I recognise the council is still operating in a challenging financial climate, we’ll be exploiting further income generation opportunities to meet the costs associated with this change.’

The wage increase will affect more than 100 council staff, including cleaners, care home laundry and domestic assistants, and library attendants.

The cost to the council will be about £75,000 a year.

Schools not yet run by academies will also be encouraged to adopt the new living wage, which would benefit about 350 additional people.

A decision will be made at the employment committee on June 26.