Kirklees Council staff in line for pay increase

LIVING WAGE Coun Rowling supports the plan.LIVING WAGE Coun Rowling supports the plan.
LIVING WAGE Coun Rowling supports the plan.
Kirklees Council staff could be in line for a pay rise under plans to pay the ‘living wage’.

The council will move towards paying its staff £7.65 per hour.

The Government has recently announced a rise in the national minimum wage to £6.50 per hour.

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But Coun Karen Rowling (Lab, Dews West), who proposed the motion at a full council meeting last week, described that as a “slap in the face”.

The motion, submitted by the Kirklees Labour Party, won the support of the Lib Dems, Greens and Independents.

Coun Rowling said: “Britain is currently in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

“It is a fact that the lowest paid workers in our society are amongst the ones finding it the hardest to cope and we, as a council, have a duty to redress that balance and to implement the living wage for our lowest paid workers and to pay them a salary that rewards their hard work and allows them to live with dignity.”

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The motion pledges Kirklees will move towards a living wage for council staff and contractors, although final details are yet to be announced.

It’s likely around 1,800 members of staff could be in line for a rise.

Coun Rowling added: “Our neighbouring councils of Wakefield, Calderdale, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rochdale, Hull, York and Sheffield, have all either implemented the living wage or are planning to do so in the next financial year and it is time that Kirklees followed suit.

“Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing is looking to approve the increase at their next board meeting and our university and college have already adopted it.

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“If we start paying it then we can encourage other employers in the district to do the same.

“I was very proud to move this motion and to support the 1,800 council employees who will benefit from this rise.”