Cornwall Council is a Living Wage employer

Cornwall Council is now a Living Wage employer. This will mean just over 1800 Cornwall Council employees (not including casual or claims based workers) will now stand to benefit from the application of the Living Wage. These 1800 employees work in both schools and non-schools settings. Typical roles include administrative and clerical assistants, care assistants, caretakers, cleaners, clerk to Governors, finance assistants, receptionists, school secretaries, cooks, drivers and domestics.

The majority of lower paid employees are support workers in the schools environment, with about 1450 now receiving the Living Wage rate.  There are about 350 employees in non-schools settings who now also receive the Living Wage rate.( NB: apprentices do not receive the Living Wage as these are workers on training contracts).

As a result of the change the minimum salary in the Council’s pay structure from 1 April 2015 is £15,144 which is £7.85 per hour.

Only those grades and salary levels below the Living Wage in the Council’s pay structure have increased to the Living Wage full-time salary equivalent of £15,144. The Council has not increased the salaries of all staff to maintain salary differentials that existed on 31 March 2015. All directly employed Council staff paid less than £15,144 full-time equivalent on 31 March 2015 will be paid £15,144 with effect from 1 April 2015.

The Living Wage is being implemented by Cornwall Council for its directly employed Council employees, including local authority maintained schools.   The agreement to implement the Living Wage was part of a collective agreement reached between the trade unions and the Council which achieved net savings on the pay-bill by freezing local pay increases until 2017. The cost of implementing the Living Wage will be £1m, and this will be met in part by the pay-bill savings.

I support the implementation of the Living Wage at Cornwall Council as people talk of Cornwall being a low paid area, and from the data previous I have blogged about, Cornwall is one of the lowest paid areas of the UK. Now with the Council setting a strong example of being a Living Wage employer, I hope other public and private sector organisations will follow suit.