HUNDREDS of Inverclyde Council staff will get the increased Real Living Wage rate months early, councillors have agreed.
The council will implement the pay rise to £12 an hour immediate effect rather than waiting until next April.
The decision benefits more than 400 council staff.
The council has also taken steps to implement a staff pay increase agreed by local authority leaders nationally in time for the extra money to be included in the final pay packet before Christmas.
Trade union UNISON is recommending that local members accept the offer for local government staff, excluding teachers, while the GMB and Unite unions have already accepted an offer.
The ballot of UNISON members is due to close on Monday 27 November but the council has taken action to make sure staff have the increased amount ahead of the festive period.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council and convener of policy and resources, said: “Given the ongoing financial challenges we are all facing, it was felt that this is an appropriate course of action to ensure extra money is in the pockets of our hard-working employees as soon as possible.
“We recognise the financial challenges people are facing because of the cost of living crisis, including our own workforce. That only gets worse at this time of year with Christmas just around the corner and as winter really starts to take hold.
“That’s why, following consultation with the local UNISON branch, we have taken the decision to implement the pay increase now in full to support council staff and their families rather than waiting until the outcome of the ballot is known.
“I’m also pleased that members of the committee agreed unanimously to implement the new Real Living Wage with immediate effect rather than waiting until April 2024 and this will benefit more than 400 council staff.”