Thursday, 9 July 2009

A living wage of £7 an hour for all agency staff

Today the council's cabinet will consider the contract for 'outsourcing' the way it manages and hires all agency sdtaff: that's cleaners and events staff as well as temps.

It'll hardly come as a surprise that these are some of the council's lowest paid staff. According to figures we obtained before budget discussions in February, there were about 1,150 people working for the council but earning less than £7 an hour.

The council really must take this opportunity to increase this: any less just isn't enough to maintain a decent standard of living in this city.

Low pay destroys lives - increasing agency pay at the bottom will produce a lot of improvements in local people's 'quality of life' for a relatively low outlay - and it'll benefit the council too.

Not only do people forced to accept low-pay work have a higher reliance on benefits and council services to help make ends meet, they enjoy less training and job security, which quite naturally means they're less committed to the job - and are more likely to quit if they get a better offer elsewhere.

So the council (or the agency to whom the task is delegated) has to fork out of recruiting new staff again and again.

I'll be going to cabinet today to try and make these arguments - but with the Tories more concerned with cutting tax bills than paying fair wages, I won't be holding my breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment