Latest Public Sector News

07.08.14

Camden Council to introduce £20,000 minimum wage guarantee

Camden Council has committed to ensuring that its lowest paid members of staff will receive a minimum earnings guarantee of at least £20,000, as recognition of the high costs faced by staff in London.

In July, the local authority’s leader announced that she would be deleting the lowest pay spine at the council. Cllr Sarah Hayward, in a letter sent to the GMB union, said: “This means that from the 1 January 2015 no member of staff employed by Camden will earn less than a full time equivalent salary of £18,297.

“Moreover, by the end of this administration we’ll ensure all staff receive a minimum earnings guarantee of at least £20,000 full-time equivalent salary.”

In effect this will mean that workers at the local authority will get paid a minimum of £10.68 per hour, which is higher than the Living Wage Foundation’s rate of £8.80 per hour for workers in London.

However, it is in line with the GMB’s campaign for a £10 per hour living wage, which the union feels is the best defence against pay day loan sharks and providing dignity at work.

Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said “We welcome the decision of Camden Council to move towards paying wages that their lowest paid staff can live on without relying on benefits.

“Introducing a minimum earnings guarantee of at least £20,000 full time equivalent salary (£10.68 per hour) for staff employed by the Council is a welcome recognition of the high costs faced by staff in London.”

Cllr Haywood added that because of Camden’s location living costs are very high. “By choosing to prioritise action on low pay in these circumstances we’re setting a clear example to the wider public sector and private sector employers in the borough that work should pay,” she said.

“Our highest paid officer earns less than 10 times more than our lowest paid full-time equivalent. We are working with schools to ensure the policy is implemented there too.”

(Image: c. Justinc)

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