THE lowest-paid council workers in Carmarthenshire are in line for an inflation-busting pay rise next April.

Staff currently on £8.75 per hour would receive £9.36 per hour or £9.18 per hour, depending on their grade, which equates to a 7% and 4.9% increase respectively.

And staff now on £9.36 per hour would earn £9.74 per hour — a hike of just over 6%.

Other rises of more than 2% are in the offing as part of a project to develop a pay spine which deals with the lower end of the scale, and also accommodates the National Living Wage.

The planned rises would cost the council £6.2 million next financial year, when teaching staff pay increases are factored in.

Introducing the planned pay spine at an executive board meeting on December 17, deputy leader Mair Stephens said: “I have to say we have done an awful lot of work on this. We are well ahead of our neighbours.

“Because of the budget consultation (for 2019/20) it was important to us that we knew what the potential costs were.”

The Real Living Wage, which is a voluntary scheme, rose to £9 per hour last month.

The mandatory National Living Wage is currently £7.83 an hour for anyone over the age of 25.

Carmarthenshire Council’s plans also involve a £9 per hour minimum pay rate for casual workers and new staff who start after April 1 next year.

The executive board agreed to move forward with the implementation of the new pay spine, but further consultation is required before it comes back to board members and then full council for a decision early next year.

The new pay arrangements would take effect on April 1, 2019.

Councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths said at the meeting: “I am very proud in the fact that we, as a council, are able to do this. We know about the difficulties of living and money issues.

“It is a substantial step.”

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