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Lib Dems push forward drive to give more workers living wage

November 30, 2012 9:37 AM

Contractors bidding to run Cambridge's swimming pools and other leisure facilities are being encouraged to pay their workers the living wage.

The move by the Lib Dem-led city council comes after a decision to raise the lowest council pay to the current living wage of £7.45 an hour in recognition of the high cost of living in the city.

Members of the council's community services scrutiny committee will be asked at their meeting on December 5 to change the council's procurement process to include a desire for companies bidding for its leisure management contract to pay their workers the living wage.

The leisure management contract is the first contract up for renewal and it is hoped the council can include reference to the living wage in the tendering process.

Rod Cantrill, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Art, Sport and Public Places said: "We are hoping that contractors employed by the council will follow our lead and pay their staff the living wage.

"The leisure management contract is the first contract coming up for renewal and it demonstrates that we are delivering on our promise not only to pay the living wage for our own employees but also to encourage others to follow our lead.

"We are committed to helping those on low incomes in these difficult times and we would hope our contractors would feel able to do the same. Paying workers the living wage is good for business; it shows a company's commitment to its staff and, in turn reduces staff turnover.

"I hope all members of the committee will support this proposal as councillors of all parties did our motion on the living wage presented to full council recently. This will be a big step forward in getting a fairer deal for those on low incomes in the city."