Living wage on the way for 1,000 low-paid council staff

South Shields Town Hall
South Shields Town Hall

A LIVING wage for around 1,000 low-paid South Tyneside Council workers will be in place in just over a year, it has been confirmed.

Late last year the local authority agreed to the gradual phased implementation of the living wage from April this year.

From then, no local authority employee will be paid less than £7.29 per hour.

The council will then look towards the implementation of the full national living wage rate of £7.85 per hour between that date and April next year.

Tomorrow, members of the council’s human resources committee will be updated on the progress towards introducing the new wage structure.

In a report to the committee, John Hewitt, the council’s director for business and resources, says: “Moving forward, the council will work with trade union colleagues on some of the practical issues which need to be addressed around job evaluation and the existing pay model.

“Research shows that lower paid employees are more likely to spend any additional monies received in local shops thereby impacting on the local economy and ultimately impacting upon local regeneration.”

The council set up an independent wage commission in June 2013, to examine the benefits and challenges of adopting a living wage in South Tyneside, which found that a living wage would make a positive contribution to reducing poverty and promoting well-being among low-paid workers.

The council currently has a workforce of around 2,800, excluding school staff.