Every employee of the City of Edinburgh Council will earn at least the Scottish Local Government Living Wage (SLGLW) in their base pay from 1 April 2021.
The news follows months of joint working with trade unions to arrive at a simpler, fairer and sustainable pay structure for the local authority.
Consolidating the Scottish Local Government Living Wage means the council can deliver an increase in pay to nearly 4,500 of its lowest paid employees, demonstrating progress in its continued efforts to become a Scottish Fair Work employer and work towards eradicating poverty in Edinburgh by 2030.
Since 2013, the council has topped up pay to meet the Living Wage and by consolidating this into base pay, the council is making changes to the lower part of the pay structure.
This will see 4,400 council employees in grades 1 to 3 receive a pay increase, equivalent to more than £200 extra per year on average for full-time employees.
The new pay structure also reflects the council's efforts to incorporate the principles of the ‘2050 Edinburgh City Vision’, which were developed based on residents' aspirations to build a welcoming, thriving, fair and pioneering capital city.
Discussions will continue between the council and trade unions on further proposals to simplify pay and related allowances for other employees to help deliver a fairer, simpler and sustainable pay framework for the future.
Commenting, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Councillor Adam McVey said he was “delighted” to make the announcement and added: “We're one of the capital’s largest employers and we want to, and must, lead by example if we're to help steer Edinburgh towards the fair and equitable future we collectively strive for.
“As a city, we've set ourselves the hugely ambitious target of eradicating poverty by 2030, in fact, we're the first UK local authority to set such a target.”
He also said that the council’s announcement “proves we're 'walking the talk' on poverty and rewarding our hardworking employees properly for the roles they play in helping to look after this great city and our communities”.
Deputy Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Councillor Cammy Day added: “I want to say thank you to all the trade union representatives who've worked so hard on this with our team so that we were able to make this announcement.
“Our people have been doing an incredible job in exceptionally challenging circumstances during this pandemic, so to be able to make sure every single one of our employees will earn at least the SLGLW as part of their basic pay from next month is extremely welcome.
“We want to go even further than this though. That's why we'll continue to engage constructively with the Joint Trade Unions towards making positive and lasting change to the organisation on behalf of our colleagues. There's much still to be done to simplify pay and conditions of service and in a way that's fair, sustainable and, importantly, financially viable.