The recommendations of the Living Wage working group, which were voted through at yesterday's Community and Corporate Organisation Policy and Scrutiny Panel were:
1. North Somerset Council does not adopt a policy for payment of the Living Wage for schools and non-school staff at this time, for the reasons as detailed within this report;
2. A letter of correspondence should be sent to the appropriate Minister, to include North Somerset MPs, highlighting the following national concerns identified by the Working Group:
a) That the current moves by Central Government towards introducing non-taxation for all minimum wage payments be applauded, and encouragement given for this to be addressed as expediently as possible;
b) That the discrepancy of the legal minimum wage being set at a lower rate than the voluntary living wage should be addressed at a national level;
c) That further investigation should be undertaken at a national level as to evidencing that the Living Wage is set at the correct rate (whilst it is acknowledged to be an average calculation for areas outside London);
d) That the current method of grant funding allocation from Central Government places North Somerset at a financial disadvantage and that if North Somerset was in receipt of its fair funding allocation then it would be in a better position to consider the living wage.
3. That the Living Wage be placed on the Panel’s Work Plan with a view to revisiting the issue in approximately two years’ time or when the national agenda and financial position improves, whichever is the sooner.
The full report and appendices can be downloaded at the following link: http://apps.n-somerset.gov.uk/cairo/docs/doc25358.htm
UNISON will be sent copies of all correspondence between the council and relevant ministers and MPs, which we will post on this blog.