Home Retail Action Project Queens Center Mall Campaign Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance Living Wage NYC Please Watch Our TV Ad
Featured Video
   
Take Action!
Step 1: Find your City Council Member.
Step 2: Fill in the following information
First Name:*
    
Last Name:*
Address:
City:
State:
Zip:*
Phone:
Email:*
Councilmember:*
Email Subject:*
Message:
*Required Field
Scotland: Council low paid in line for wage rise
Galloway News
Doug Archibald

July 14, 2011
View the Original Article


THE STEWARTRY’S low paid council workers could soon have something to celebrate.

A promised wage rise means no one on the local authority pay book will earn less than £7.15 an hour.

That will lift the lowest pay bands into a “Living Wage” structure with a starting salary of more than £13,000 a year.

Councillors committed themselves to the pay rise from October 1 during the budget setting process back in February.

Tomorrow they are expected to ratify that move at their final meeting before the summer recess.

The only question to be hammered out is how the extra money will be paid.

It comes with a warning that changing the current pay structure could have repercussions in the shape of job losses.

More than 800 workers across the region are in line for the increase that will cost £155,000 this time around.

Annually it will swell the Scottish Joint Council for local government employees salary bill of £108.9 million by £310,000.

Five councils have already adopted a Living Wage aimed at creating a situation where every working the cuntry earns enough to “provide their family with the essentials of live”.

A further four are considering its introduction.

Head of human resources, Paul Clarkin, outlines two ways of paying, either as a supplement or by revising the current pay structures. But the arguments favour a supplement, at least in the meantime.

Mr Clarkin will tell members a complete review of the current pay and grading structures would be needed to embed the payments in salaries. Currently it’s not possible to estimate what that would actually cost.

And he goes on: “Agreeing any action which would undermine the integrity of the existing pay model carries with it risks in terms of demonstrating best value, equal pay and significant risk to the competitiveness of services such as catering and cleaning.”

He points out that the cleaning and catering operation run by DGFirst brings in £450,000. Private companies could be given a competitive edge if salary structures were changed.

That could result in the loss of 13 full time equivalent jobs “although in reality a higher number of part time posts would be lost”.

Mr Clarkin goes on: “To implement a supplement would not result in any increase to pay grades within the existing pay model and therefore maintain its integrity.

“The implementation of a living wage through supplement would achieve the timescales agreed by full council and would be within the one-off funding identified.” However, it has been agreed in principle with the trade unions the living wage will be included in the salary structure by April 1, 2013.