West Cheshire UNISON Negotiates Pay Rise for School Caterers and Cleaners

The lowest paid staff working for Edsential in Cheshire West will receive an uplift from £8.34 to £9 per hour. The pay rise will be effective from 1st July 2019 and will affect over 500 staff.

West Cheshire UNISON have successfully negotiated a significant pay rise for the lowest paid staff working for Edsential. Grade 1 and 2 staff will now be paid at least the real Living Wage of £9 an hour. 

Edsential is a Community Interest Company owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Wirral Council to provide services to the education sector. Staff working in the Wirral were already receiving at least £9 an hour due to top up payments. The new agreement will ensure that all Edsential staff will receive a fair rate of pay which takes into account the cost of living, regardless of whether they work in Cheshire West or Wirral schools.

A UNISON member and kitchen assistant working for Edsential said: "This pay rise will make a huge difference to me and will improve my quality of life."

"It's not just about the money though, it means a great deal to me that our employer values us enough to pay us the Living Wage."

It is not just the lowest paid staff who will receive an uplift. Staff across grades 1-5 will receive a pay rise ranging from 2%-7.4% with an average pay rise of just under 5%.

West Cheshire UNISON branch secretary Teresa Connally said: "West Cheshire Branch are delighted that Edsential have agreed the pay rise and the positive result is testament to the hard work of our branch in negotiating this agreement. 

We have applied pressure over the years to ensure that all staff were paid the Living Wage and now that persistence has been rewarded. We endeavour to do our upmost for all members."

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