22nd September 2011
Maidstone Green Party is calling on Maidstone Borough Council to ensure that all its staff receive at least a 'Living Wage' of £7.20 per hour, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation. The call comes after the leader, Cllr Garland, revealed the extent of low pay at last night's Council meeting where he stated that at least 12 staff are paid below the level of the Living Wage. The Greens posed the question to Maidstone Borough Council following the raising of wages in Brighton by the new Green administration there and the advertising of a post by Maidstone Borough Council that attracts an hourly wage of £6.19.
Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "The Living Wage of £7.20 per hour has been shown to be the minimum level of income necessary to lead a full life with resonable surroundings and sufficient leisure, so we are shocked that Maidstone Borough Council is paying some staff far less than this.
"The Council should be ashamed of promoting a low wage economy and for advertising and paying less that the minimum needed to live on. I challenge any of the councillors to try to survive on just £11k a year while paying rent and the ever increasing fuel bills. The Council has a duty to its employees that it is clearly failing in.
"One of the first acts of the new Green administration in Brighton was to announce an increase in wages of its lowest paid staff to meet the Living Wage. Maidstone Borough Council should follow Brighton's lead and immediately raise the pay for staff that currently earn less than £7.20 per hour. The Council should also introduce a local Living Wage Commission, which would look at the benefits, risks and opportunities of establishing a Living Wage in the town's public, private and third sectors."
1. Living Wage details here: http://www.citizensuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/The-Living-Wage-in-the-United-Kingdom-May-2011.pdf
2. Maidstone Borough Council advertised a post at the Hazlitt in July 2011 "Salary £6.19 to £7.02 per hour"