The claim: A minimum increase of £1 an hour on scale point 5 to achieve the living wage and the same flat rate increase on all other scale points.
1. Local government workers have suffered an 18% cut in wages since 2010
A pay freeze and eight years of below-inflation pay rises since 1997 mean thousands of local government workers, from across the pay scale, are struggling to make ends meet.
2. Local government: the worst pay and conditions in the public sector
Over half a million, mostly women, mostly part-timers, earn less than the living wage. Only in local government and local authority schools are large numbers of public sector employees paid so poorly. No one in local government earns as much for the job they do as other public sector workers doing equivalent jobs elsewhere.
3. We all expect and deserve high quality public services
407,000 local government jobs have gone since 2010. An over-worked, stressed-out workforce, stripped to the bare bones, cannot provide high quality public services. And slashing pay and conditions means our members are less likely to act as advocates for their employers. Local government workers are voters and service users too
4. Politicians from all parties are calling for an end to low pay
Party leaders, ministers and MPs from all parties are calling for a higher national minimum wage or the living wage. If leading politicians are focussing on the role decent pay can play in raising living standards, surely what is good for other workers should be good enough for those working in local government.
Many local government workers rely on benefits to pay bills. The taxpayer is subsidising local government to pay poverty wages. Paying all local government workers a living wage will boost Treasury coffers by around £0.9bn every year from increased tax and national insurance take – shifting many off in-work benefits.
Our claim is affordable.
6. Boosting your local economy
Outside London, most local government workers live and work in the same area. Every £1 spent in the local economy generates a further 64p for the community. Paying local government workers a rise of at least £1 an hour will boost local businesses.
7. The benefits of paying a living wage
Paying the living wage will enhance the council’s reputation, boost morale and improve productivity. Living wage employers report better retention of staff, improved service, and a reduction in absenteeism and reduced recruitment costs.
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