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Central Beds Council Should Pay £8.25 Living Wage

Thursday, November 5, 2015

GMB To Lobby Central Bedfordshire Council 19th November Meeting Over Council’s Refusal To Pay £8.25 An Hour Living Wage To Staff

Central Bedfordshire Council’s refusal to pay the living wage leaves it as one of the lowest paying Councils in the country says GMB.

GMB, the union for local council workers, will lobby the Central Bedfordshire Council meeting on 19th November to protest at the council’s refusal to pay the living wage of £8.25 an hour to its and its contractors employees.

The lobby will be held at:


6.00 PM
SG17 5TQ


In the East of England the following councils already pay or are committed to paying the living wage: Bedford Borough, Cambridge City, Colchester, Harlow, Ipswich, Luton, Norwich City, North Norfolk, Peterborough City, Stevenage, Suffolk Coastal, Suffolk, Three Rivers, Thurrock, Gt. Yarmouth, Hertsmere, and Watford.

In England and Wales over 130 local authorities now pay the £8.25 per hour Living Wage or have committed to paying it. The living wage is more in London because of the higher cost of living.

In Scotland all 32 council pay the living wage.

The Living Wage is a recommended rate of pay that takes into account the true cost of living in various areas of the UK and is calculated annually by academics at Loughborough University based on the items that people need for a “minimum acceptable standard of living.

Warren Kenny, GMB Senior Organiser said, “Central Bedfordshire Council’s refusal to pay the living wage leave it as one of the lowest paying Councils in the country.

The Living Wage is well established and paid by most councils and many employers. It is set by the independent Living Wage Foundation and has recently been increased to £8.25 per hour. This is what GMB believes Central Bedfordshire Council should introduce for its staff currently paid below this rate.

Employees that work in the BUPA care homes that had to be transferred back to Central Bedfordshire Council’s control last year retain their previous hourly wage as required by the laws that govern the transfer of employment rights, however this rate is in many cases significantly lower than £8.25 Living Wage

GMB don’t want to local authorities to become National Minimum Wage employers, we want them to be Living Wage employers and to incorporate the Living Wage into their outsourced services contractors.

Council workers should be paid for the vital jobs they do and not supported by means-tested benefits and tax credits. The Treasury could then redistribute any savings back to Central Bedfordshire council.

From the beginning of 2015 the staff now employed in the neighbouring Bedford Borough Council care homes have been receiving a minimum rate of £8.25 an hour yet their former colleagues, now employed directly by Central Bedfordshire council, are currently paid little over the minimum wage which is significantly less an hour than if Central Beds council did the right thing and followed many of their neighbouring Council’s positive approach.

GMB would be more than happy to assist the council in attempting to identify funding to implement a Living Wage and request the council to seriously consider initiating a council wide referendum of all local tax payers to establish their views on whether local taxes could be very slightly increased to pay for a living wage and other local services.

The council should be well able to afford to pay the living wage as the total wage bill for the Corporate Management Team, Assistant Directors and Chief Officers at Central Bedfordshire council seems to be minimum of £2 million and is spread across 22 jobs.”


Contact: Warren Kenny GMB Senior Organiser on 07843 632394 or GMB Press Office: 07974 251823 of 07921 289880.

Notes to Editors


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