UNISON has been asking and demanding that as a Labour Council Sandwell should be paying the Living Wage as its minimum pay level and become an accredited Living Wage employer.
5 years later and Sandwell Council has just agreed to ‘top up’ the salaries of those paid below the Living Wage amount to the Living Wage amount. Prior to the new rate to be announced in November the Living Wage amount outside London is £8.45 per hour.
This means that all Sandwell Council employed staff, including support staff in Community Schools, that are currently on Grade A will receive a ‘top-up’ payment from 1 April 2018. So too will many on Grade B as anyone below scale pay point 13 are set to receive a ‘top-up’ to the Living Wage level.
Whilst it is disappointing that the Council is not becoming an accredited Living Wage employer UNISON welcomes this important step in the right direction.
West Midlands Regional Secretary, Ravi Subramanian, who met with the Council Leader to try and persuade Sandwell Council to become a Living Wage employer stated,
“This will put money in the pockets of low paid workers making a real difference to the lives of hundreds of workers and their families. The council should be commended for taking this important step towards full Living Wage accreditation.”