A living wage for council workers

East Dunbartonshire Council headquarters
East Dunbartonshire Council headquarters

East Dunbartonshire Council has given a guarantee that it will pay all of its employees the ‘Living Wage’ - from April 2015.

The council agreed to adopt the increased Living Wage hourly rate for all employees at its meeting on Tuesday, December 16.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “This council committed to implementing the Living Wage for our employees back in 2012.

“We adopted a policy statement at that time and introduced a pay supplement to bridge the hourly rate payment gap to Living Wage.

“Earlier this year, we incorporated the Living Wage into the council’s core pay and grading structure and removed all existing grades that were currently lower than the cash value of the Living Wage.

“An increase in the Living Wage was recently recommended by the Living WageFoundation and our decision last night means that the council will now adopt the recommended increase in Living Wage from £7.65 per hour to £7.85 per hour from April next year. As part of its ongoing commitment to the Living Wage, the council also agreed to seek accreditation under the ‘Living Wage Employer AccreditationInitiative’.

She added: “Formal accreditation for our approach to the Living Wage further demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our employees receive the full benefits of the Living Wage.

“This includes the baseline hourly rate and also the additional benefits through contractual pay for matters such as pension, sickness allowance and annual leave.”

Following the council’s decision a new Living Wage Policy Statement for 2015 will be implemented, confirming that the Living Wage will apply to all jobs within the council’s approved structure regardless of their contractual status.

The statement will also confirm that the Agency Worker Regulations (1 October 2011) will be met and the Living Wage criteria will also apply to Agency Workers working in the council, and that the increased cash value of the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour will apply from 1 April 2015 pending the ongoing 2015/16 national pay negotiations.

The current minimum wage is £6.50 for 21 and over, £5.13 for 18 to 20 year olds, £3.79 for under 18s and £2.73 for an apprentice.