Andrew McKegney
By Andrew McKegney

Senior Staff Writer

14 November 2022

| | 2 min read

Council becomes accredited Real Living Wage Council

Newcastle City Council marked National Living Wage Week today by becoming an accredited Real Living Wage Council.

Living Wage Foundation Logo
Living Wage Foundation logo

Since 2012 the council has improved the pay of its employees on the three lowest pay grades so they could have a decent standard of living.

Now it has gone one better and gained Living Wage Accreditation from Living Wage Foundation as part of its commitment to fair pay and a decent wage.

Not only is it committed to paying all its staff at least a Real Living Wage but is also using its position to influence its many contractors to apply the Real Living Wage through its tender process or via negotiation.

Cabinet member for an Efficient Council, Cllr Paul Frew, said: “I am proud to say that Newcastle City Council has become an accredited Real Living Wage Employer. 

“Since 2012 we have matched the Real Living Wage for our lowest paid workers. We have continued to do it because they do difficult jobs and deserve a decent standard of living especially when things are so tough at the moment with the cost-of-living crisis we are in. 

As a contractor of authority, we are also able to influence many of our contractors to apply the Real Living Wage through our tender process or via negotiation, so they are fairly paid for what they do. 

In Newcastle we are determined to build a network of accredited employers in the city, encourage more employers to pay the Real Living Wage, and campaign to make Newcastle a Real Living Wage city.” 

About 800 of the lowest paid council employees are in line for a pay rise as part of the recent rise.  

 School cooks, domestics, cleaners, and nursery assistants are just some of those who will benefit from an extra £1 an hour.

The Real Living Wage rises in line with the wage announced every year by the national body, the Living Wage Foundation which this September increased pay from £9.90 to £10.90.

The move will add £127,000 to the council’s pay bill for the rest of the financial year.

The council hopes to create a network of accredited employers in the city to make Newcastle a Real Living Wage City.

Living Wage Week runs from 14-20th November 2022.