Rotherham Council commits to the Living WagePublished Tuesday, 4th November 2014
Cleaner Ian Drewett is one of nearly 1,500 Rotherham Council employees receiving the Living Wage for the first time this year as organisations across the country celebrate Living Wage week.
Ian, a cleaner at Riverside House, who works two part-time jobs, says he often found it difficult to make ends meet before the Council's introduction of the Living Wage of £7.65 per hour last month.
"I was finding it really tough," said Ian. "It felt like robbing Peter to pay Paul a lot of the time and I really struggled to make ends meet.
"The new Living Wage has helped me a lot – it means there’s that bit of extra money in my pay packet now every month."
Despite the budget challenges faced by the Council in recent years, one of the objectives for councillors has been to ensure that some of the budget savings the Council has made could be used to pay a Living Wage.
From October 1, all Rotherham Council employees whose rate of pay is lower than £7.65 per hour now have a supplement applied to their pay.
This means that for every hour worked, up to 37 per week, these employees will receive an extra amount of pay that will bring the minimum hourly rate in the Council up to £7.65 per hour.
In addition, it was decided that our lowest apprentice rate should also be increased from the minimum of £2.68 per hour to £3.14 per hour.
Nearly 1,500 of the lowest paid council employees are benefiting from the implementation of the Local Living Wage and nearly all of them live in Rotherham.
Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council, Councillor Emma Hoddinott, said: "The introduction of the living wage will support those on the lowest pay, to provide some financial relief in what is a very difficult financial climate – and also boost spending in the local economy.
"The Living Wage is an independent calculation that reflects the real cost of living, it rewards a fair day's work with a fair day's pay.
"We hope other Rotherham employers will follow our lead and implement the Living Wage, it would be a fantastic thing to see happen."