Members at West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) look set to be paid at least ‘The Living Wage’, if the move is approved by members of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority (WMFRA).
UNISON began negotiations with the brigade in late 2014 and a report is being presented at a meeting of the WMFRA on Monday 13 April recommending that the service adopt the living wage from 1 April 2015.
This will mean the wages of 62 WMFS staff will rise to the level of The Living Wage, which is currently £7.85 an hour outside of London.
Tony Rabaiotti, UNISON West Midlands Regional Manager said:
“This is a huge step forward for West Midlands Fire and Rescue service and they should be congratulated for taking this step.
Receiving living wage gives employees the chance to earn an amount of money that covers the basic cost of living.The move to implement the living wage clearly shows that they, along with many organisations both public and private, are beginning to see that the minimum wage is not enough for our members to live on.
More employers across the West Midlands need to follow WMFS’s lead and ensure that hard working staff are paid properly for the work they do”
Vic Mallabar, WMFS’s UNISON Branch Secretary, added:
“We welcome this positive response to our requests for our lowest paid staff to be lifted up to the living wage threshold. We recognise the difficulties faced by West Midlands Fire Service, but are proud that the management and Fire Authority have supported our lowest paid staff. We congratulate the service on becoming a living wage employer.”