All council staff at Westminster City council to get Living Wage

Local Democracy Correspondent

People working for contractors employed by Westminster City council will get paid the London Living Wage as a minimum.

The council is the latest to insist that contractors who want to do business with it pay their employees the wage, which currently stands at £10.75 an hour.

It means that contractors will also get the wage, which the council had already signed up to for its own staff.

The move follows other councils, including City of London, which insist that contractors also pay the London Living Wage.

It means that 22 local authorities in London, including Hammersmith and Fulham, are fully signed up to the voluntary scheme.

One third are not listed by the Living Wage Foundation.

Westminster City council’s chief executive Stuart Love said: “As a City for All, we’re enormously proud of being accredited as a London Living Wage employer.

We are nothing without our staff and those who represent us.

In Westminster we have some of the very best and it’s only right that they should be paid properly.

“We believe that should apply right across the board, whether the staff work directly for us or come from a contractor.”

Forty apprentices working at the council got the increase in August – with a £2,000 boost to their annual pay packet.

For regulatory compliance officer apprentice Tatendsa Mupoperi, it means the cost of travel won’t be quite so painful.

The apprentice, who looks at street markets and environmental health, said: “It came as a big surprise and it makes a difference. It’s meant an extra £760 a year towards my train travel costs.”

Yasin Mahmood, 21, who works as an apprentice business support officer in policy, performance and communications, said the increase of £3.80 an hour “has helped us a lot”.

And Victoria Heselton, 50, from Westminster, who works as an apprentice administrator in the finance team, thinks it will help with budgeting.

She joined the council last year and said: “I was on a tight budget before with my pay covering the basics like my rent, my food and my bills.

“If I wanted something extra I had to take another job in catering, doing banqueting, which is long, hard physical work which cut into my free time.”

The council was recently given the London Living Wage accreditation agreed at a ceremony at Somerset House on the Strand. The move means contractors will get the LLW when contracts are re-tendered or extended by the council.

Earlier this year the City of London Corporation which joined LLW in 2014, ran a campaign to get companies in the financial and professional services sector to sign up to the voluntary agreement with the Living Wage Foundation.

It said 100 firms signed up after the two-week campaign with posters at some of the capital’s busiest Tube stations.

Last year cleaners who ensure the toilets and council chamber at Kensington and Chelsea council are kept clean staged a strike.

They worked for contractors and the council agreed to bring in the London Living Wage for people like them when contracts are renewed or put out to tender.

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