Suffolk Coastal votes to adopt living wage for staff

Suffolk Coastal District Council

Suffolk Coastal District Council - Credit: Archant

One of the last councils in Suffolk to adopt the living wage has voted in favour of the move.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s members agreed to “become a living wage employer for direct employees” from April 1 at their latest meeting last week.

The motion to bring all wages up to an hourly rate of at least £7.65 was tabled by Robert Whiting, who is responsible for resources at the council.

Speaking after Thursday’s meeting, he said: “I am pleased that Suffolk Coastal District Council unanimously agreed to accept my recommendation to pay the living wage to all employees.

“We value the contribution that all staff make in providing a high quality of service to local people and, as a good employer, Suffolk Coastal wants to ensure it is providing a fair deal for all of our employees.”

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There are currently 15 Suffolk Coastal staff who are on a pay scale that is below the living wage and will be affected by the decision.

Mr Whiting said the agreement recognises the “hard work and dedication” of staff.

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“It will cost the council less than £10,000 a year to make this change, but it will have a big impact on the lives of our lower paid employees,” he added.

Public service union Unison last month called on SCDC and Waveney District Council (WDC), to adopt the living wage, as the last two councils not to have done so already. WDC’s deputy leader Stephen Ardley said at the time the council was “looking to gather more evidence before any final decision is made.”

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