Thousands of dinner ladies, cleaners, street sweepers and other low-paid workers are set for pay rises in the first major act of Birmingham City Council’s new Labour cabinet.
Plans to make the minimum council pay £7.20 per hour, known as the living wage, are set to be approved on Monday. (June 11).
The deal will increase wages for more than 2,500 staff – about six per cent of the council’s workforce.
And city bosses hope to persuade schools across the city to do the same for more than 500 low-paid staff.
The living wage is based on the cost of living and is substantially higher than the legal minimum wage of £6.08 per hour.
Currently the council’s lowest-paid workers receive £6.39.
Deputy council leader Coun Ian Ward said: “It is only right that our hard-working employees get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work – and up to now that has not been the case for thousands of staff.
“The living wage will make a real improvement to the quality of life for those affected.
“Research from elsewhere where it has been introduced shows attendance, motivation and loyalty are all improved, along with better recruitment and retention of workers.”
Coun Ward said the pay rise would also mitigate against losses in overtime and shift allowances suffered by some staff as a result of the new Birmingham Contract.
The policy is expected to add about £1.33 million to the council’s annual pay bill. Labour bosses argued this could be accommodated within the council’s £3.5 billion budget.