Trade unions call for minimum wage for council staff

Trade unions have recommended a minimum wage of £6.50 an
hour to allow local government workers to earn a ‘living
wage’ without dependence on tax credits, writes
Clare Jerrom

The money saved from tax credits should be channelled into
workforce training and development in local government, the
national joint council of the public sector unions said in its
joint submission to the Local Government Pay Commission.

“We believe that local government pay needs a thorough
overhaul, with a new national strategy that ensures that national
agreements are implemented locally in a way that ensures
consistency and equity,” the submission said.

At the same time, recruitment and retention of frontline staff
is an area needing “urgent and specific attention”, and
a co-ordinated response is needed by local and central

The Office for National Statistics or another appropriate
government agency, should initiate a system for monitoring vacancy
rates, turnover, use of agency and temporary staff and recruitment
and retention problems at the earliest opportunity, the unions

Urgent action on equal pay is needed and there should be a
centrally driven approach to pay and grading reviews with funding
available, the unions recommended. Research on black and ethnic
minorities’ pay and conditions should be undertaken while an action
plan to deal with race discrimination in pay should be drawn

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