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Fair pay for Harrogate Borough Council workers

November 5, 2018 8:22 PM

The Harrogate Borough Council 2018/19 Budget moved away from paying the lowest paid Council workers the Harrogate Supplement. Since then the Union asked for this decision to be reconsidered. After listening to their concerns and arguments, the Lib Dems have come to the conclusion that the original decision was unfair.

Therefore we took a Notice of Motion to Council asking that the Council reinstate the Harrogate Supplement. This would increase the pay of 53 lowest paid workers pay by 25p an hour, costing £13,000 for one year only because new National rates come in next year. We believe that reinstating the Harrogate Supplement would show these members of staff that they are valued as important members of the team.

Pat Marsh (Pat Marsh/HBC)

Lib Dem group leader Cllr Pat Marsh said:

"Whilst we are very conscious that this is public money and would not want to do this irresponsibly, we are also conscious that because of the low wage the Council cannot get staff such as cleaners and are paying for agency workers at a lot more cost. This does not make sense.

The decision to not agree to our request was made by the HR Committee on which Cllr Cooper sat and as usual he argued about what Lib Dems did or did not do rather than make the case for not paying these people a Living Wage. This from someone who last year was paid £20,571.34 by HBC, £9,635 by NYCC and whatever else he earned from the public purse as our MP's Office Manager.

Another Member, Cllr Swift, who also voted against paying the Harrogate Supplement, made a decision in the previous week in which he agreed to spend £24,000 on Training and Motivation for 60 more Senior Staff. Whilst I agree that training is an investment in Staff, so is paying the Living Wage."