CAMPAIGNERS are set to lobby Dorset County Council ahead of a decision on whether to pay the living wage to council employees.

Councillors will discuss paying all employees £7.65 an hour at tomorrow’s full council meeting.

At present, around 1,500 council staff are paid less than this rate and researchers have also identified up to 500 local businesses that regularly carry out work on the council’s behalf, where employees may also be subjected to low pay.

The Living Wage for Dorset campaign (LWD), which is organising Thursday’s lobby at County Hall in Dorchester, has contacted every county councillor with a request that they agree to make the local authority a living wage employer and is hoping that further pressure will convince the council to recognise the importance of paying higher wages.

Neil Duncan-Jordan, LWD campaign chair said: “Becoming a living wage employer would be an important and significant step for the council to take. They see improvements in the quality of work, productivity and rates of absenteeism – as well as helping with recruitment and retention of staff.

Of course, the higher wages also boost spending in the local economy and reduce the reliance on, and cost of, working-age benefits.

Everyone wins – the employer, the employee and Dorset taxpayers.”