Council walks the talk on tackling poverty with new pay structure consolidating the Scottish Local Government Living Wage
Every employee of the City of Edinburgh Council will earn at least the Scottish Local Government Living Wage (SLGLW) in their base pay from 1 April 2021.
The news was announced by Council Leader Adam McVey at Full Council earlier today and follows months of joint working with the Trade Unions to arrive at a simpler, fairer and sustainable pay structure for the organisation.
Consolidating the Scottish Local Government Living Wage means the Council can deliver an increase in pay to nearly 4,500 of its lowest-paid employees, demonstrating progress in its continued efforts to become a Scottish Fair Work employer and work towards eradicating poverty in Edinburgh by 2030.
Since 2013, the Council has topped up pay to meet the Living Wage. By now consolidating the Living Wage into base pay we are making changes to the lower part of the pay structure, which means that 4,400 of employees in grades 1 to 3 will have a pay increase, equivalent to more than £200 extra per year on average for full-time employees.
The new pay structure also reflects the Council’s efforts to incorporate the principles of the Edinburgh 2050 City Vision, which were developed based on residents’ aspirations to build a welcoming, thriving, fair and pioneering Capital city.
Discussions will continue with the Trade Unions on further proposals to simplify pay and related allowances for other employees, to help deliver a fairer, simpler and sustainable pay framework for the future.
Cllr McVey said: We’re one of the Capital’s largest employers and we want to – and must – lead by example if we’re to help steer Edinburgh towards the fair and equitable future we collectively strive for. I’m therefore delighted to confirm our commitment to being a Living Wage employer by announcing that, from 1 April, everyone who works for the Council will earn at least the Scottish Local Government Living Wage as part of their basic pay. This means on average full-time employees in grades 1-3 will have an uplift in their pay of more than £200.
As a city, we’ve set ourselves the hugely ambitious target of eradicating poverty by 2030 – in fact, we’re the first UK local authority to set such a target. Today’s confirmation of a new simple and fair pay structure proves we’re ‘walking the talk’ on poverty and rewarding our hard-working employees properly for the roles they play in helping to look after this great city and our communities.
Depute Council Leader Cammy Day said: I want to say thank you to all the Trade Union representatives who’ve worked so hard on this with our team so that we were able to make this announcement today. Our people have been doing an incredible job in exceptionally challenging circumstances during this pandemic so to be able to make sure every single one of our employees will earn at least the SLGLW as part of their basic pay from next month is extremely welcome.
We want to go even further than this, though. That’s why we’ll continue to engage constructively with the Joint Trade Unions towards making positive and lasting change to the organisation on behalf of our colleagues. There’s much still to be done to simplify pay and conditions of service and in a way that’s fair, sustainable and, importantly, financially viable.