TRADE union Unison has launched a petition for the introduction of a new ‘living wage’ for the poorest paid in the borough.
We revealed last week that Solihull Council is currently considering whether to increase the wages of those at the bottom of the pay scale - from £6.08 an hour to a more generous £7.20
Now Unison has backed calls for a pay boost for those earning the minimum wage and will be collecting signatures, supporting the new policy being implemented in Solihull.
David Williams, Unison branch secretary for Solihull, said: “The Living Wage is a nationally recognised basic wage for families struggling to make ends meet. Three years of wage freeze means that hundreds of cleaners, cooks, carers and others are working for what are, in effect, poverty wages in Solihull.
“We hope the council will behave like a decent employer, even at a time when the Government is slashing expenditure.
“We believe it is a scandal that wage levels are often so low that it makes more financial sense to stay on benefits than to go out to work. Hard work should be encouraged not penalised.”
Stuart Richards, GMB organiser, has also said that the policy would be “hugely significant” for members.
“There are also benefits for the council,” he argued. “The evidence shows that the living wage can enhance the quality of the work of employees and can drastically reduce absenteeism.”