Lowest paid to get extra £700

By Connie Osborne Friday 28 March 2014 Updated: 28/03 09:02

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COUNCIL workers on the lowest pay band are set to receive about £700 more a year.

A total of 43 Worcestershire County Council staff will be given the pay increase from April 1 this year after bosses decided to scrap the two lowest pay brackets.

Anyone who currently sits in band six or seven receives between £11,931 to £12,915 a year.

But new workers as well as current ones will be bumped up to band eight and will now be paid between £12,600 and £13,321.

It comes as part of a bid to move the hourly rate of the authority’s lowest paid workers closer to the living wage of £7.65 which is deemed to be the minimum needed to provide a basic cost of living.

Bridget Clark, the council’s human resources recruitment and reward strategy manager, said the decision would put the lowest paid staff just below the living wage but would mean they were paid more than the national minimum wage of £6.31.

“Members of the panel wished the council to aspire to improve the hourly rate of the lowest paid employees up to a living wage level over a number of years and we believe this is definitely progress,” she told a meeting of the council’s Resources Overview and Scrutiny Panel last Thursday (March 20).

She added the council could not fully agree to the Living Wage as the rate increased too fast and the council could not afford to pay the increase.

Coun Liz Tucker, who first proposed the idea at a meeting in November 2012, said: “I think the county should be pleased action has been taken to do it in the softly, softly way because the council could not afford to do it in one leap.”

Coun Marc Bayliss added: “I think there is good progress and I’m happy we have moved people up for their starting wage. I hope we continue to make this progress in the future.”

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