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Council to shelve living wage plan

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 08, 2014

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COUNCIL staff in Burton will not be paid the living wage due to concerns the move could impact heavily on the authority’s finances.

Bosses at East Staffordshire Borough Council fear introducing a pay hike for its workers could affect its ability to deliver services and said the proposal would be discussed again in two years time.

The wage is the amount the average person can be expected to live comfortably on. The current rate is £7.65 an hour - more than £1 per hour higher than the minimum wage.

Councils in Birmingham and Wolverhampton pay employees the living wage, although no authorities in Staffordshire are currently fully part of the scheme.

Campaign group the Living Wage Foundation has called on employers across the country to offer the deal to workers, saying the rise ‘affords people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families’.

Members of the borough council’s Member Working Group will meet next week to discuss whether introducing the living wage for all staff is currently viable, but revisiting the option again in 2016 has already been recommended.

A council report said one of the main drawbacks of the plan would be the added strain put on its budget, taking into account potential annual increases.

The report said: “Members of the working group recommend a further review in 2016 for all groups of staff, because the potential impact on the cost of procured services, where the potential cost of this may be significant, is difficult to estimate as employment costs will only be known at the time of retendering during 2016.”

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