Ian Boulton, Labour Councillor for Staple Hill and Mangotsfield ward, will propose a motion at tonight’s South Glos Council meeting which, if passed, will see the council become a Living Wage Foundation accredited employer, and will give a pay rise to all council staff currently earning less than the Real Living Wage of £9.30 an hour.
Councillor Boulton will say: “Councillors and MPs from across the political spectrum have been keen to be seen clapping for our carers and key workers during the Covid19 Health Emergency. It has been widely recognised that these roles have been on the front line of dealing with the human impact of Covid19, yet these same staff are often among some of our lowest paid and, too often, can face ‘in work poverty’. Clapping our carers and key workers does not pay their bills.”
Councillor Boulton continued: “The Coronavirus Crisis has exposed the low wages of many of our keyworkers such as care workers, shop and supermarket workers, and delivery drivers. These are the people who have been risking their lives by going to work to keep our society going and allow the rest of us to stay at home and stay safe. Many of these workers are paid the so-called ‘national living wage’ of £8.72 per hour if they are 25 years old or over, or the minimum wage of £8.20 per hour if they are aged over 21 and under 25. There are 161 Full time equivalent staff working at South Glos Council and in Schools across the district who currently earn less than the Real Living Wage. The annual cost of this pay increase is relatively small – around £63,000, but the message it sends to the wider community is huge, and that message is that South Glos Council values those low paid workers who have put their lives on the line during the Coronavirus pandemic.”