Birmingham City Council leaders last night pledged they would look into the introduction of a living wage for its 55,000 workers.
The scheme, which would offer a rate above the current minimum wage, would be similar to one introduced in London by Mayor Ken Livingstone and would cover all council employees as well as contractors.
The idea was proposed at a meeting of Birmingham Citizens, an umbrella group for a range of faiths, trade unions and schools from across the city.
City council leader Mike Whitby and his deputy Paul Tilsley said they would consider the group's plea for a living wage and also agreed to examine the issue of low wages in the city.
Labour councillor Susanna McCorry, shadow cabinet member for education and life long learning, also said she backed the idea.
Neil Jameson, of Birmingham Citizens, said it was important council workers were paid more than the current minimum wage of #5.05 and a figure should be set at about #6.50 by the local authority.
He added: "They have agreed to work with us and we are pleased with that."
The group said the council had no control over the minimum wage but said there was nothing to stop it paying a living wage to people who are employed within the public sector.
Birmingham Citizens also said the council could write a living wage clause into contracts when private companies bid for government work.
Speaking at the meeting at St Michael's Church, in New Meeting Street, Coun Tilsley (Lib Dem Sheldon) said: "I will work with anybody to try and remove the scourge of low pay. One thing Birmingham certainly is, is a low skill, low pay, low investment city and we have got to turn that around."