Alliance motion on living wage supported by North Down and Ards Council

An Alliance motion calling for the new North Down and Ards Council to potentially adapt the living wage received unanimous support at the latest meeting of the new super Council.

Proposed by Councillor Kellie Armstrong – and seconded by Councillor Stuart Anderson – a report will now be prepared detailing potential costs issues and highlighting how the local authority could implement the living wage as the lowest entry point for employees.

Councillor Kellie Armstrong said: “This motion aims to set a standard whereby employees at the lowest entry point to the new council would be paid a realistic living wage rather than the minimum wage. Once the report is completed the new Council will be able to make its final decision based on clear facts. Supporting the living wage demonstrates our commitment to improve the living standards of our staff and would be a progressive initiative for North Down and Ards Council to consider implementing.”

Councillor Stewart Anderson said: “The proposal provides the Council with the opportunity to consider the financial impact of introducing the living wage. With anticipated costs expected to be minimal, Alliance is hopeful this will soon become a reality – ensuring staff currently being paid at the lowest level are receiving an affordable wage. In the new Council we want out staff to not only survive, but thrive on the wage they are paid for the job they deliver and would hope to encourage other employers in the North Down and Ards area to adapt this.”

Councillor Andrew Muir, Group Leader, added: “”There was strong support for this Alliance Party motion across the chamber as it demonstrates responsible leadership with first new Council to demostrate positive support in principle for The Living Wage. Alliance has stepped forward and demonstrated our commitment to fairness by wishing to implement the living wage and look forward to the financial impact report so we can work out a roadmap to achieve a Living Wage for all employees of the new Council.”

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