Campaign results in victory for local politicians.
After years of campaigning,the West Midlands Combined Authority is set to be become a real living wage employer. The move follows a co-ordinated campaign led by Liam Byrne MP and the Leader of Birmingham City Council Ian Ward.
The draft budget of the West Midlands Combined Authority has been published and, after interventions by cabinet member Cllr Ian Ward, it includes a commitment to introduce the real living wage.
Liam Byrne MP (pictured), who is also running to be Labour Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “After years of campaigning this is a major breakthrough. With the Labour leaders on the combined authority I have been pushing for the real living wage for some time.
“As Mayor I will tackle poverty head on. I’ll make the West Midlands a living wage region, because we can’t cut foodbanks till we cut poverty pay.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council and Transport portfolio holder on the West Midlands Combined Authority, said, “We’ve been pushing for the combined authority to follow Birmingham City Council’s lead and pay the real living wage for some time.
“I’m pleased that we’ve been successful, but disappointed that it has taken an election year for our campaign for the real living wage to be listened to by the Tory Mayor.”
Byrne and Cllr Ward want the West Midlands Combined Authority to follow Birmingham City Council’s lead by ensuring that, in addition to paying its employees and regular contractors the real living wage, it also encourages those wanting to do business with the authority to pay it to all their employees.
Liam Byrne added: “The West Midlands Combined Authority has an £8 billion budget over the coming years to spend on new transport links and housing. If all those companies bidding for contracts paid the real living wage to all their staff, we could increase the pay of thousands of low paid staff and create scores more jobs from the growing economy.”