Hundreds of lower paid council workers from Ashfield and Mansfield have had their pay boosted after Nottinghamshire County Council introduced the Living Wage for them.
More than 2,200 of the council’s lowest paid frontline workers had their pay increased from 1st April, after the authority became amongst the first in the East Midlands to introduce the rate.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay, set independently every year and based on the cost of living in the UK. The rate (outside London) is currently at £7.65 per hour.
Previously the lowest paid County Council workers received £6.45 per hour.
Charlie Tate of Kirkby-in-Ashfield juggles three part-time jobs - two of which are for Nottinghamshire County Council - provide for himself and his wife.
Mr Tate estimated the rise would give him an extra £80 per month. He said: “It will make a change just to be able to go and fill up the car without worry so much about how much petrol I’m putting in and being able to afford to pay for it. It will also be nice to be able to go out a bit more because we’ve really had to cut back in the last few years.”
As well as helping to recruit and retain staff, it is hoped that the increased minimum rate of pay will have wider benefits for the Nottinghamshire economy. Nearly half those receiving the increase are from Ashfield, Bassetlaw and Mansfield - the areas of the county with the greatest levels of deprivation.
Nottinghamshire County Council Leader Coun Alan Rhodes, said paying the Living Wage to frontline workers providing valued public services was the right thing to do.
He added; “In recent years, Local Government pay has increasingly lagged behind inflation, increasing bills and the rising cost of living. Through leading by example, we hope that more Nottinghamshire employers will follow suit.”