Newcastle City Council has become the first council in the region to give its lowest-paid workers a pay rise to the so-called 'living wage'.
Two thousand people are now earning £7.20 an hour - a pound more than the national minimum wage.
The amount is an independent assessment of how much it costs to live.
However, it is estimated that the move will cost the council nearly a million pounds a year.
The trade union Unison is now campaigning for other councils to follow suit.
More top news
Firefighters are urging residents to be extra vigilant if using candles over the winter months and during the Hindu festival of Diwali.
A North York Moors project that aims to inspire families to love the great outdoors has received a special National Parks award.
The full programme of artworks, installations and events for Durham’s fifth Lumiere the UK’s largest light festival, have been revealed.