Workforce, Pensions and Training

03.11.17

‘Shocking’ figures reveal that one in 10 council workers receive below living wage

One in every 10 council workers are receiving a salary that is below the national living wage according to UNISON.

The public workers union has called on the government to increase council funding to a level where every worker can receive a living wage.

This news comes ahead of the announcement of a new minimum living wage, expected to be revealed by the Living Wage Foundation next week.

UNISON says an increase in wages to account for this national standard could lift up to 60,000 public sector workers out of poverty.

The current living wage rates are set at £9.75 an hour in London and £8.45 in the rest of the UK. The bottom hourly rate in local government is only £7.78.

Heather Wakefield, head of local government at UNISON, called lower rates “poverty pay” and said such wages had no place in local government

She added: “It is shocking that so many public service workers, who are providing valuable services to communities up and down the country, are paid so little.

“Their work and dedication need to be recognised. Living wage week is the perfect opportunity for the government to lift staff out of poverty and ensure that work pays fairly. Over three-quarters of local government workers are women. Low pay is contributing to the growing gender pay gap.”

The union urged chancellor Philip Hammond to find funds in the upcoming Autumn Budget to deal with the situation and provide an above inflation pay rise for UK public sector employees.

Introducing the living wage has been greeted with issues across some local authorities, with care costs specifically spiking despite no major rise in funding and numerous cuts to central grants.

The Living Wage Foundation has its national living wage week starting from this Sunday.

Top image: Serdjo photo

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and dis... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the a... more >
‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

20/07/2018‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

An index designed to measure councils’ financial resilience in order to avoid another Northamptonshire-style fiasco would actually risk ove... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Banks sued by 15 major councils in controversial loans fraud court battle

17/07/2018Banks sued by 15 major councils in controversial loans fraud court battle

Barclays is facing a legal battle over the issuing of controversial loans worth millions of pounds to major English councils. A High Court claim revealed by the Mail on Sunday found that 14 ... more >
Business case on the way for Nottinghamshire ‘super council’

13/07/2018Business case on the way for Nottinghamshire ‘super council’

Nottinghamshire has decided to proceed with a formal business case setting out plans to replace the current two-tier system in the region with a unitary authority after a vote was passed in yeste... more >

the raven's daily blog

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are one step closer to strengthening the integrity of our electoral system through requiring electors to confirm their identity before they vote, building on the government’s commitment to safeguard ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are o... more >
Accountability in government: what next?

02/07/2018Accountability in government: what next?

Benoit Guerin, senior researcher at the Institute for Government (IfG), explains why accountability in government needs improving and sets out wh... more >
Potholes: The scourge of the roads

02/07/2018Potholes: The scourge of the roads

Potholes are a scourge on our roads and can have much farther-reaching consequences than one might think. Re-routing just a small amount of exist... more >
Can data save the future of children?

02/07/2018Can data save the future of children?

Ingrid Koehler, service innovation lead at the LGiU, takes a look at the untapped potential for a digital, data-led transformation of children&rs... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News