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Belfast City Council in living wage promise

Belfast City Council is set to become the first council in Northern Ireland to be a living wage employer.

The decision taken at yesterday's strategic policy and resources committee will now go forward for ratification at the full council meeting scheduled for next Thursday.

Currently 42 of the 2,600 staff (1.6%) employed by Belfast City Council earn a basic hourly rate, which is less than the living wage hourly rate of £7.65.

Their posts will now be redesigned and re-evaluated to bring them in line with the living wage.

The estimated cost to the council will be around £56,000 a year, but – as this will be drawn from existing budgets – there will be no extra cost to the ratepayer.

Trade unions have been consulted and are in agreement with the proposed approach.

The proposal received unanimous support from all political parties.

Party groups leaders said they hoped the decision to become a living wage employer would demonstrate civic leadership to other employers, and encourage other organisations to consider adopting a similar approach.

Belfast Telegraph