Pay scales for all staff employed by Oldham Council were confirmed at July’s meeting of the full council. This marks another important step for wages in the borough, with all staff now officially paid at or about the real living wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation. At the full council meeting before Christmas Cllr Sean Fielding announced Labour’s intention to apply to become an official living wage employer. While work remains ongoing to ensure that all suppliers to the council also pay the real living wage, establishing the correct wage level for all staff is an important step.
Being a real living wage employer is a key part of the council’s strategy to boost the wages and prospects of residents across the borough. By taking a lead, the council demonstrates to other employers the value of Oldham residents. We also know that those on lower wage levels are more likely to spend their money in the borough, meaning a pay rise will be paid back in Oldham many times over. It has the added benefit for public budgets of reducing demand on health and other public services, and reducing need for in-work benefits.