Oxford City Council guarantees 'living wage'

First published in News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by

Oxford City Council has become the first authority in the county to gain “living wage” accreditation by making sure all employees get paid at least £8 an hour.

The council has been accredited by the national Living Wage Foundation after implementing the scheme three years ago.

A “living wage” is higher than the national minimum wage and is calculated based on the cost of living in a specific area of the country.

City council employees are all paid more than the £8.01-an-hour rate, almost £2 higher than the minimum wage, which is currently £6.19.

Council leader Bob Price said: “The council has strongly endorsed that its employees and contractors’ employees should be paid at least living wage, rather then the much lower national minimum.

“We know that the costs of housing and transport in Oxford are higher than elsewhere, and the living wage reflects those costs.

“The Greater London Authority has taken the same approach, reflecting the high costs of living in the capital.

“We’re pleased our initiative has been formally recognised and the positive effects this policy has had on supporting the city’s economy.”

Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, added: “The benefits to staff and business are clear. I welcome the leadership shown by Oxford City Council on this.”

Caroline Glendinning, the authority’s Unison representative, said the union and its members welcomed the accreditation.

She added: “We want an equivalent to a London weighting, like an Oxford weighting, and this goes some way towards addressing that, but it is a drop in the ocean.

“To be fair to the administration, it is something they pushed for. No one at this council has been paid less than £8 an hour since 2009.”

She said the scheme even extended to temporary or agency staff, under the terms of a deal agreed between council chiefs and contractors.

She said: “It’s not just our employees — any contractors who work for us have to pay their staff the living wage.

“It also applies to any agency staff, and all our leisure services, even though they are partly sub-contracted.”

Oxford is the only one of Oxfordshire’s six local authorities to have gained accreditation.

Both Cherwell District and Oxfordshire County Council confirmed there was no plan for a living wage, and the other districts did not respond to the Oxford Mail’s inquiries.

Comments (12)

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1:20am Sun 28 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

This would make me laugh if I wasn't about to be sick. This comes in the same week that the council refused a fare increase that would higher the average cab drivers wages to £4 an hour, I do 70 hours a week and don't come close to even half the hourly rate that the council pays its staff, and with the pensions on top, they are not living in the real world. No wonder they are always smiling.
This would make me laugh if I wasn't about to be sick. This comes in the same week that the council refused a fare increase that would higher the average cab drivers wages to £4 an hour, I do 70 hours a week and don't come close to even half the hourly rate that the council pays its staff, and with the pensions on top, they are not living in the real world. No wonder they are always smiling. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -69

10:10am Sun 28 Oct 12

willowsrich says...

Yet another reason for the high council tax rate by this profligate labour controlled council.
Yet another reason for the high council tax rate by this profligate labour controlled council. willowsrich
  • Score: 2

11:35am Sun 28 Oct 12

Darkforbid says...

And what will the council do about all the local employers not offering a 'living wage'?
And what will the council do about all the local employers not offering a 'living wage'? Darkforbid
  • Score: 8

12:58pm Sun 28 Oct 12

SteveOX4 says...

Darkforbid wrote:
And what will the council do about all the local employers not offering a 'living wage'?
Only one thing, increase our council tax.

I SO wish that the whole lot of them, from top to bottom get sacked and permanently banned from working in any local authority in the United Kingdom ever again. Deport them off the planet too!

**** arseholes wrecking the city I was born and raised in.
[quote][p][bold]Darkforbid[/bold] wrote: And what will the council do about all the local employers not offering a 'living wage'?[/p][/quote]Only one thing, increase our council tax. I SO wish that the whole lot of them, from top to bottom get sacked and permanently banned from working in any local authority in the United Kingdom ever again. Deport them off the planet too! **** arseholes wrecking the city I was born and raised in. SteveOX4
  • Score: 7

6:32pm Sun 28 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

SteveOX4 says...
12:58pm Sun 28 Oct 12

Darkforbid wrote:
And what will the council do about all the local employers not offering a 'living wage'?
Only one thing, increase our council tax.

I SO wish that the whole lot of them, from top to bottom get sacked and permanently banned from working in any local authority in the United Kingdom ever again. Deport them off the planet too!

**** arseholes wrecking the city I was born and raised in.

And they had the nerve to go on strike over their bloated pensions that we pay for out of our hard earned money, these people really do need a reality check.
SteveOX4 says... 12:58pm Sun 28 Oct 12 Darkforbid wrote: And what will the council do about all the local employers not offering a 'living wage'? Only one thing, increase our council tax. I SO wish that the whole lot of them, from top to bottom get sacked and permanently banned from working in any local authority in the United Kingdom ever again. Deport them off the planet too! **** arseholes wrecking the city I was born and raised in. And they had the nerve to go on strike over their bloated pensions that we pay for out of our hard earned money, these people really do need a reality check. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -58

7:44am Mon 29 Oct 12

Victor's_friend says...

These days you can get an award from anyone just so the the award giver can justify its existence. These award givers often exist from public funds.

If the scheme was so fantastic why are so few signed up?

The council can sign up for it since it can probably recover this from the tax payer, through council tax or other paid for services.
These days you can get an award from anyone just so the the award giver can justify its existence. These award givers often exist from public funds. If the scheme was so fantastic why are so few signed up? The council can sign up for it since it can probably recover this from the tax payer, through council tax or other paid for services. Victor's_friend
  • Score: 1

7:45am Mon 29 Oct 12

Victor's_friend says...

It's called 'robbing peter to pay paul'
It's called 'robbing peter to pay paul' Victor's_friend
  • Score: 1

10:58am Mon 29 Oct 12

EMBOX1 says...

34% of your council tax goes to pay pensions.

They are on planet Zog, and really need a reality check. Next time they're on strike, go and protest by the picket line. Cover your mouth with gaffer tape, because the council won't listen anyway.
34% of your council tax goes to pay pensions. They are on planet Zog, and really need a reality check. Next time they're on strike, go and protest by the picket line. Cover your mouth with gaffer tape, because the council won't listen anyway. EMBOX1
  • Score: 1

10:15pm Mon 29 Oct 12

Niko Bellic says...

Are all of you lot above taking something? For a 37 hour week, £8 per hour will get you a little over £15k. Clearly in the realms of the fat cats aren't they!?
Are all of you lot above taking something? For a 37 hour week, £8 per hour will get you a little over £15k. Clearly in the realms of the fat cats aren't they!? Niko Bellic
  • Score: -2

8:04pm Tue 30 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Niko Bellic says...
10:15pm Mon 29 Oct 12

Are all of you lot above taking something? For a 37 hour week, £8 per hour will get you a little over £15k. Clearly in the realms of the fat cats aren't they!?

Niko, that is for the lowest grade, doing a Mcjob, that would not even merit minimum wage, it would be fairer for the council to publish all the grade wages.
Niko Bellic says... 10:15pm Mon 29 Oct 12 Are all of you lot above taking something? For a 37 hour week, £8 per hour will get you a little over £15k. Clearly in the realms of the fat cats aren't they!? Niko, that is for the lowest grade, doing a Mcjob, that would not even merit minimum wage, it would be fairer for the council to publish all the grade wages. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -66

7:25pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

I'm glad the Council pay a sensible wage. BUT only as long as they employ the right number of people. Over-staffing is not only wasteful of Council Tax money which few can now afford, but also demoralising to staff-a continuing big public sector problem
I'm glad the Council pay a sensible wage. BUT only as long as they employ the right number of people. Over-staffing is not only wasteful of Council Tax money which few can now afford, but also demoralising to staff-a continuing big public sector problem Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 1

11:56am Fri 2 Nov 12

alu355 says...

Carfax Cabby wrote:
This would make me laugh if I wasn't about to be sick. This comes in the same week that the council refused a fare increase that would higher the average cab drivers wages to £4 an hour, I do 70 hours a week and don't come close to even half the hourly rate that the council pays its staff, and with the pensions on top, they are not living in the real world. No wonder they are always smiling.
Must be doing something wrong as the cabbies I know in Oxford all live in big houses. Royal Cars also paying more than this.
[quote][p][bold]Carfax Cabby[/bold] wrote: This would make me laugh if I wasn't about to be sick. This comes in the same week that the council refused a fare increase that would higher the average cab drivers wages to £4 an hour, I do 70 hours a week and don't come close to even half the hourly rate that the council pays its staff, and with the pensions on top, they are not living in the real world. No wonder they are always smiling.[/p][/quote]Must be doing something wrong as the cabbies I know in Oxford all live in big houses. Royal Cars also paying more than this. alu355
  • Score: 0

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