Increase in living wage for low paid council staff

As part of Living Wage week the council has repeated its aim to match the Newcastle Living Wage to the national Living Wage over the next two years. The National Living Wage is currently set at £7.85.

The council decided to implement a Newcastle Living Wage in November 2012 and since then the policy has put an extra £1million in the pockets of low paid council staff.

A total of 828 council workers have benefited from the Newcastle Living wage for the whole two year period and over that time have been paid on average an extra £1290  - a  £1,068,120 increase in spending power to boost the local economy. 

Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Joyce McCarty, said: “The Living Wage is about the council and wider society sending a clear message that we value the work of low paid staff who do vital jobs such as cleaners, supervisory assistants and kitchen assistants.

"Without their hard work, our city would grind to a halt. So I am delighted that we have once again been able to increase the Newcastle Living Wage to ensure they are fairly rewarded for the work they do. 

"We live in a very unequal society with some people earning telephone number salaries and others really struggling to get by. This move is about making Newcastle fairer and more at ease with itself as we attempt to reduce the gap between the richest and the poorest.

"A living wage makes good business sense too; research shows that putting more money into the pockets of the lowest paid means more is spent in local shops giving a welcome boost to our economy.

“We are committed to increasing the Newcastle Living Wage to the national rate  over the next two years. We believe that a living wage is good for business and good for Newcastle and we are encouraging all employers across the city to guarantee it for their staff.”

Newcastle City Council introduced the Living Wage following a report by an independent Living Wage Advisory Panel which found that paying a Living wage could help all businesses by leading to:

 

  • Easier recruitment and retention of staff
  • Better attendance and reduced sickness absence
  • Better productivity, motivation and loyalty
  • Better quality of service for customers

 

The Panel’s 2012 Report also found that a Living Wage could help tackle high levels of child poverty in the city by making more money available to help families bring up their children.