Plea for wage increase

SOUTH Ayrshire Council will be asked to give its low paid staff a wage increase at tomorrow’s meeting of the full council.

A motion put forward by Labour group leader John McDowall asks the Conservative/SNP administration to implement the Scottish living wage by not later than April 1, 2012 for all its employed staff.

Mr McDowall explained: “We believe that no council employee should earn less than the living wage of £7.20 per hour and we have been pressing for this for some time.

“Other councils in Scotland have successfully implemented this, including Glasgow City, North Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway and we do not see why this should not be introduced in South Ayrshire Council.

“This would apply to all our lower grade employees who currently earn less than this and provide an earnings boost to employees during these difficult economic times.”

“We want this council to agree that the introduction of a living wage is a legitimate aim to address poverty and low pay, particularly having regards to the socio-economic situation in South Ayrshire and the anticipated impact of reduced public expenditure within the Council area as a consequence of the current economic climate.”

The motion adds that the council should agree to the introduction and implementation living wage, for all lower grade employees whose hourly rate currently falls below that rate, no later than April 1, 2012, and further agrees to implement the living wage by way of a pay supplement in order to maintain the integrity of the council’s existing pay scale structure.

“In addition, the council further agrees that it will strive to ensure that all contractors and sub-contractors engaged by the council will pay their employees not less than the living wage implemented by the council by April 1, 2012.