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Council to pay 'living wage' to all its staff

By West Briton  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

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ALL Cornwall Council staff will be eligible to be paid a "living wage" under a new agreement due to go to union members.

The changes have been agreed by unions and council bosses following negotiations which covered pay and conditions for staff as government funding cuts leave it having to save £190 million over five years.

A management structure shake-up will save an initial £400,000.

The proposed collective agreement will cover directly employed staff.

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The main items include the implementation of a "living wage" from April 1, 2015 – currently £7.65 per hour, equating to a minimum salary of £14,758 for a full-time employee.

It also includes a commitment to national annual pay awards; a commitment to retain national terms and conditions, including regarding sick pay; and retaining existing severance and pay protection policies until September 2017.

Chief executive Andrew Kerr said the proposal was developed after negotiations with the main trade unions and would improve the wages of the lowest-paid staff while saving the council more than £5.4 million.

He added: "It will enable us to help deliver the savings we need without cutting pay and terms and conditions more, and we hope we can achieve this by agreement.

"We can be justifiably proud of how we have worked together to address similar financial challenges in the past and I hope we can again now.

"We will continue to work closely with trade unions and staff to look at ways we can reduce our workforce by voluntary means where possible, while continuing to target investment in the skills needed in our workforce for the future."

Stuart Roden, Unison regional organiser, said: "We believe it is right we work with the council to protect essential services for our local community.

"We will now consult members. We believe these proposals strike the right balance between protecting services and helping the lower paid. We will be recommending acceptance but this is subject to a ballot of all members."

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  • PhilHutty  |  May 07 2014, 11:00PM

    Cornwall councils unfunded by central government is still ensuring the very lowest paid get a living wage. whilst any job loss will be difficult, I am pleased to see they haven't forgotten how hard it is be on a low wage and how they have to lead the way for the minimum to be a living wage rather then the national minimum wage

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