Saturday, 4 January 2014

Quarter of council workers earn below Living Wage

A quarter of Wrecsam Council staff earn below the recommended Living Wage of £7.65 an hour.

A Freedom of Information request found that 1688 workers out of 6,131 were paid below that level. The vast majority - 95% - were part-time workers and also women.

 These workers, many of them cleaners, catering and officer staff, were also among those denied their equal pay settlement until Christmas Eve this year.

This is not a new campaign by TCC, a Wrecsam-based campaign group. Back in 2008, Plaid Cymru worked with TCC and Unison to make sure low-paid workers got what is considered to be a living wage.

The good work done back then has been eroded by the new Labour-run council, which has given low-paid workers pay freezes while increasing pay for senior management and accepting pay rises for the top tier of councillors. Perhaps the local Labour MP - a late convert to the idea of a Living Wage - can bring some persuasion to bear on his colleagues in the Guildhall?

Low pay means workers having to claim tax credits to top up their income - in effect, it's a state subsidy for employers such as Wrecsam Council and many more in the private sector who won't pay the Living Wage.

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