CLEANERS and other casual workers at York’s council are to be paid the “living wage” rate earlier than expected.

The move, increasing the wages of 120 staff in a range of jobs at City of York Council to £7.45 an hour, will be rubber-stamped by the authority’s leader, Coun James Alexander next week, with the rises being backdated to the start of December.

The Labour council was recommended to pay the living wage, which is higher than the minimum wage, by the city’s Fairness Commission in 2012.

The decision boosted the pay of 570 staff and this will now be extended to cleaners, admin assistants, traffic survey workers and midday supervisors, among other roles.

Coun Alexander said: “Being the first local authority in Yorkshire to introduce the Living Wage is something we are particularly proud of.

“My colleagues and I thought it was unfair for the council to pay both permanent staff and those who work for our trading company the living wage, but not casual staff. After a group debate, we decided to proceed with closing this loophole.”

The £13,000 cost of the living wage extension will come from the council’s contingency fund. By March, casual staff will have transferred to the council’s trading company and continue to receive the new payments.

The authority will start building the living wage into new external contracts from April.