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Call for pay rise for 'super hero' council workers

Slough Borough Council will write to the government calling for a pay rise for its ‘public service super heroes’.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Preston Brooker asked his fellow councillors to support a motion on Tuesday calling for a pay increase for local government workers whom he described as public service super heroes.

The Langley Kedermister Labour councillor wants the rise to be fully funded by central government and is also calling for the national minimum wage to be increased to £10 per hour.

He told a meeting of full council: “Staff are being asked to do more and more for less and less pay. That is why I’m proud to support this campaign for pay justice which calls for the reversal of sharp cuts in living standards experienced by local government workers since 2009/10.”

The national minimum wage, for people aged 21 to 24, is £7.70 an hour rising to £8.30 in April, while the national living wage, for people 25 and over, is £8.21, rising to £8.72 in April.

The meeting was told that out of the council's 1,411 staff, only 27 apprentices are on the minimum wage rates, with other staff being paid £10 or more an hour.

Cllr Christine Hulme (Lab, Central) added: “As a Labour-controlled council, we are best-placed to send a clear message that we expect a fair pay system for our own staff. We also expect those businesses that benefit in Slough and make profits here to pay the people of Slough that work in Slough a decent rate of pay.”

Conservative councillor Wayne Strutton called on the council to ensure any member of staff working at the local authority on behalf of a contractor were subject to the same pay increase.

His Tory colleague, Cllr Anna Wright (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill), added: “I don’t understand the idea that workers for the public sector are super heroes.

“The NHS are super heroes, the ambulance are super heroes.

“I don’t understand why that wording has been used.”

Councillors agreed to write to the government requesting a fully-funded pay increase.

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