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Calls For Better Pay For County Council Workers

Living Wage Protest County Hall 1

8:19am 13th February 2014

Local campaigners will lobby Dorset County Council today ahead of a decision over whether to pay all council employees the Living Wage.

At the moment around 1500 council staff are paid less than the rate of £7.65 an hour which is what the Dorset Living Wage Campaign is calling for.

They've contacted every county councillor to ask them to back the move.

According to their figures average pay for full time workers in Dorset is at least 5% lower than the national average.

Neil Duncan-Jordan, LWD campaign chair said: "Becoming a living wage employer would be an important and significant step for the council to take. Living wage employers see improvements in the quality of work, productivity and rates of absenteeism - as well as helping with recruitment and retention of staff. Of course, the higher wages also boost spending in the local economy and reduce the reliance on, and cost of, working-age benefits. Everyone wins - the employer, the employee and Dorset taxpayers."

"Becoming a Living Wage employer also sends a very strong signal to others in the county that public services and business has to be based on more than simply the lowest possible price. Average pay for full time workers with jobs in Dorset is at least 5% lower than the national average with pay as low as 19% lower in South Dorset, equivalent to £96.00 per week. Only 11% of the Dorset workforce is employed in high pay sectors, and 30% of the county's workforce is in low pay sectors such as hospitality, care, retail and food production."

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