Council chiefs in Liverpool have pledged their commitment to making sure that everyone who works for the authority is paid the Real Living Wage.
The move is part of Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson’s commitment to ensure all members of city council staff are paid the £9 an hour Real Living Wage rate.
The Mayor introduced the Real Living Wage for staff members in 2014. Now, the city council’s cabinet has agreed to investigate how this can be expanded to include contract workers and agency staff.
At a meeting of the city council’s cabinet today (Friday 8 February), members agreed to move towards achieving official accreditation from the national Living Wage Foundation.
To achieve the standard, the council must adhere to a set of criteria which states that anyone working for more than two hours per week for more than eight consecutive weeks is paid the Real Living Wage. And that the authority is committed to implementing any annual increase in the wage as soon as possible.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “As an administration we have implemented the Real Living Wage amongst our staff and it is something we are very proud of. The council is leading the way and setting an example, we now need to encourage all our partners and everyone we work with to adopt the same approach and work towards paying the same rate.”
The next steps in the plan will mean that the council investigates how to ensure workers in third-party contracts in settings such as schools and social care are paid the wage through a programme of phased implementation.
Cabinet agreed to continue to consult with the Living Wage Foundation to determine what steps need to be taken to achieve accreditation.
Liverpool City Council Assistant Mayor and Mayoral Lead for Tackling Poverty, Cllr Jane Corbett, described the move as ‘win-win’ for the city.
“The council is committed to tackling poverty in Liverpool and achieving Living Wage Accreditation would be a real milestone. We are starting to plan very carefully so that all the contracts we put out start to pay the living wage. So any contractors we work with will be asked how they can make this happen. We are also looking at how we can build in better terms and conditions, in-work training and career progression into these contract roles.”
Cllr Corbett added: “It’s important for Liverpool because people’s health and wellbeing is massively affected once they get a decent wage. For businesses it is really important because what happens is they retain staff, sickness levels are lower and the whole business becomes more sustainable. It is important for the city because people have got more money in their back pockets which means they put it into the local economy.”
Liverpool City Council’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Steve Reddy, who will drive the move towards accreditation, added: “Paying people decent wages lies at the very heart of the council’s ethos and has so many benefits.
“It makes workers feel appreciated and gives them a sense that they are doing something worthwhile. It can act to motivate staff, boost the self-esteem. It enhances staff loyalty and could even increase productivity.
“Equally, it can have a really positive impact on families. If a parent is being paid a decent wage it means they are able to spend more quality time with their families and we believe it can also help us to reduce child poverty.”