We will keep working for a fairer, more caring town.
The Council is an accredited living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) and seeks to ensure that all Council staff are paid a living wage currently set at £8.25 per hour as opposed to the lesser National Living Wage currently set at £7.20 per hour.
In April, Chartwells increased all of their employee’s wages to match this National Living Wage. They also increased the rate of pay for other members of staff to match the increment as before. So now the average rate of pay of cooks is £8.53 per hour and Assistant Cooks is £7.30 per hour.
The current school meals contract with Chartwells was originally entered into in 2012, prior to the council agreeing to being accredited as a living wage employer, currently operating on the basis of the National Living wage as a minimum payment to staff. This does not impact on the council’s accreditation with the LWF as the employees are not directly employed by the Council but by Chartwells.
The Chartwells contract is to be extended by 2 years in September 2016, and there is an option to extend for a further 2 years in 2018, subject to the continued support of schools buying in. During the next several months the school meals team will be engaging with Chartwells to explore the implications of a potential alignment of pay with the LWF rate. Chartwells have previously indicated their willingness to engage in discussion. The most obvious concern for schools and parents would be the impact of wage inflation on the cost of a meal currently being held by Chartwells at £2.10 for the duration of the extension period.
Following these exploratory discussions officers will report back on options and implications.