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Sunday, September 29, 2013

AM raises issue of low wages in area

Concerned by reports of staff in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire Councils earning below the living wage, North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has questioned the Welsh Government over its action to address the problem.
Speaking in the Assembly, Mr Isherwood asked the Minister for Local Government and Government Business what is being done to encourage local authorities to become living wage employers.   
He said: “Questioning you on the same subject in the Chamber in May, I asked what action you could take to encourage local authorities to consider how a living wage might be introduced. I referred to evidence at the Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru/Together Creating Communities Public Assembly in Wrexham of staff earning below the minimum wage in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire.
"You replied that the Welsh Government is very happy to encourage employers to become living wage employers, although, as you say, on a voluntary basis. Therefore, Minister, since I asked that question in May, what action have you taken to encourage local authorities to become living wage employers?”
The Minister replied: “We can encourage local authorities to do so, but it is up to them. I am sure that you would want to join me in welcoming the proposal to bring the living wage in the public sector under the remit of the workforce partnership council. I think that we can have a much more strategic look at the broader issues with trade unions and public sector employers. It is something that I have put on the agenda for the next council, which will be held on Monday.”

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