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London council in negotiation with Veolia on paying living wage

Lambeth Council has entered into negotiations with Veolia about the wages of its staff, which it wants to bring up to “at least the London Living Wage”.

Veolia is currently contracted by Lambeth to provide waste and recycling collection and street cleansing services until 2021.

The council published its intention to begin negotiating with Veolia on this issue in its Forward Plan on 20 October. According to the plan, a decision is not expected before 20 November.

The London Living Wage is set at £9.75 an hour. Lambeth Council, alongside 14 other councils, is an accredited Living Wage employer.

It is not clear how the increase in wages will be made up. The council said in its Forward Plan that the negotiation “sets out the proposed approach and seeks approval to proceed to implement the increase”.

A spokesperson for Veolia, which is not an accredited Living Wage employer, told MRW: “While talks are taking place it is inappropriate for us to comment.”

A council communications officer said the council would make an announcement when the outcome of the negotiations was agreed.

Council leader Lib Peck said: “I’m proud that Lambeth is not only an accredited Living Wage employer, but now a Living Wage Friendly Funder. We strongly believe in the importance of a fair wage to help reduce inequality, and it is our aim to see every business and organisation in the borough pay their staff the Living Wage.

“It is good for working people, good for society and it is good for employers, creating a positive and dedicated workforce.”


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