THE council should be paying all of its staff a 'living wage' the city's Labour councillors have said.

Worcester City Council has paid its directly employed staff the 'real' living wage since 2014 but Labour councillors want to extend that to make sure companies who have contracts with the council to also pay the living wage.

The real living wage -which is currently £9 an hour - is the recommended minimum amount put forward by the Living Wage Foundation and is based on what a full-time worker and their family needs to make ends meet including rent, council tax, food and public transport.

The motion, put forward by Councillor Lynn Denham, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Worcester, will be discussed by councillors at a full meeting this evening (October 22).

Cllr Denham said: "Worcester wages are well below the national average and far too many Worcester people are struggling to make ends meet due to low pay.

"Worcester City Council should lead the way by becoming an accredited Living Wage employer, encouraging other local businesses to follow suit.

"This is a practical way to boost our local economy and give the lowest paid workers a pay rise.

"Real wages are lower than in 2010 and nine years of austerity has pushed people into having to do several part-time jobs, or claiming Universal Credit in order to survive.”

A separate motion, led by Cllr Adrian Gregson, deputy leader of the council and leader of the council's Labour group, calls for the city council to become a 'fair employer' which includes offering fair contracts and stable employment, encouraging membership of trade unions, fair wages for apprentices and creating a more diverse workforce by supporting disadvantaged groups in the workplace.

Cllr Gregson said: “Economic success is key to a healthy life and the more Worcester people who are in work which is fairly paid and where they are positively supported by their employers, the better their life chances and outcomes are.

"The council has a responsibility to ensure working people in Worcester have the security and dignity they deserve. Passing this motion would represent a fantastic step in securing fair employment for people across our city.”

A full meeting of Worcester City Council takes place at 7pm in the Guildhall.