Council agrees to pay more than living wage

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More than 400 employees of North Lanarkshire Council will receive a pay increase thanks to a decision to integrate a new living wage into the authority’s pay scales.

The 450 staff will have their hourly rate increased to £9.47 beginning on July 1.

The current Scottish Local Government Living Wage is set at £9.07 per hour. The higher rate will now ensure better progression within salary bandings, replacing the old system of top-up payments.

Finance convener Bob Buirrows told The News and Chronicle: “We believe increasing this payment is the minimum the council should commit to in order to help our staff with the ever increasing cost of living.

“Many of our staff live locally and it is vital they are paid a fair and reasonable wage to assist them with an affordable quality of life.

“All Scottish local authorities have committed to paying their staff the Scottish Local Government Living Wage as a minimum to all employees by 2022, but we at North Lanarkshire Council wanted to make sure that any new and existing employees in our employ had this consolidated into their contracts as soon as possible.

“We were also extremely grateful to the various trade unions involved in discussions with us for helping with the process.

“Our staff are our biggest asset and by paying them the Scottish Local Government Living Wage, we can help tackle in-work poverty, be in a position to better retain staff, reduce absence levels and generally improve staff motivation across all departments.”

The decision to increase the hourly rate was passed unanimously at a meeting of the council’s finance and resources committee on Wednesday, May 29.