22 July 2011
Green Council Leader Bill Randall yesterday (21 July) announced radical plans to introduce a Living Wage to the city of Brighton & Hove.
At a Full Council meeting, he confirmed that the council will be taking a number of steps to reduce inequality in the city through narrowing the gap between the highest and lowest paid workers.
Cllr Randall commented: "Reducing inequality is a key plank of our plan for the city. We will be consulting on a 60p-an-hour rise for the council’s lowest-paid workers, many of whom are women, and many also part-time workers.
"This, and other initiatives, mean we have narrowed the ratio between the highest and lowest paid to just above 11:1.
"We are also establishing a Living Wage Commission for Brighton & Hove, which will look at the benefits, risks and opportunities of establishing a Living Wage in the city’s public, private and third sectors.
"I’m pleased that we’ve received support for the initiative from trade unions, the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce, Brighton University , the Hospitals Trust and the Sussex Police Authority.
"We will continue to work with other partners to achieve a fairer city."
* The council will consult on a 60p-per-hour pay rise in September for the lowest paid workers, which will affect around 250 staff members. The same rise will be offered to the lowest paid workers in schools, the cost of which the council will cover in 2011/12.
*The full year costs will be £109,000 on council services and £70,000 for schools. Assuming an October implementation, the costs in this financial year will therefore be £55,000 on council services and £35,000 for schools. The full year costs represent a very small percentage of the council’s net revenue budget - 0.05% (zero point zero five percent).
*The commission will start work in October and report in March 2012, and the full terms of reference will be published next week. The work will draw on the experience of other local authorities in the UK and abroad, and the work carried out for the Living Wage Foundation by Loughborough University . The commission will be charged with establishing a living wage based on an hourly rate for the city, as has been done in London .