SUPERMARKET Morrisons has become the first supermarket in the UK to guarantee the hourly pay of £10 an hour.

Morrisons, which has stores in Chadderton, will increase its minimum pay for up to 96,000 workers from £9.20 and says for the majority its workers the pay increase will be approximately 9 per cent from April.

Retail trade union Usdaw negotiated the £10 an hour deal which is 50p an hour above the voluntary Living Wage Foundation rate.

Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness said: “The new consolidated hourly rate is now the leading rate of the major supermarkets, which is paid every hour and removes the uncertainty of a bonus payment.”

A quarter of the costs of the increase will be met by changing the discretionary annual colleague bonus scheme in response to colleagues saying they would prefer to have a guaranteed amount in their hourly rate and receive it more regularly.

“It’s been a tough time for food retail staff who have worked throughout the pandemic in difficult circumstances. They provide the essential service of keeping the nation fed and deserve our support, respect and appreciation. Most of all they deserve decent pay and this offer is a welcome boost.” Said Ms McGuiness.

David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, said: “It’s a symbolic and important milestone that represents another step in rewarding the incredibly important work that our colleagues do up and down the country.

“Over the last year we have seen renewed and widespread appreciation in the UK for our colleagues who have had an incredibly tough 2020, working tirelessly so Britain could eat well and shop safely throughout the pandemic. Morrisons colleagues have earned their status as key workers, and this pay increase, many times over.”

Union members still need to approve the deal. The result will be announced on 12 February and if approved the new rates will be paid from 5 April 2021.