Over 180 of the lowest paid staff at West Midlands Police will receive a pay rise as the force adopts the real Living Wage.

The voluntary scheme will see 185 staff, who work in varied roles, from cleaners to kennel workers, receive extra money in their pay packet from this month.

The adoption of the Living Wage means the lowest paid roles earning a minimum of £8.45 per hour, which essentially removes the two lowest pay scales from the force’s staff salary structure.

For full-time staff, this is worth up to £900 per year.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said,
“Introducing a real Living Wage for all West Midlands Police staff was a key commitment of mine that I’m proud to be delivering.

“Fair pay at work doesn’t just help our employees but is good for the regional economy too. That extra money will boost businesses throughout the West Midlands.

“Supporting the lowest paid and giving them a fair deal is the hallmark of a good employer.”

Georgia McCabe works for the force’s Dog Unit as a Kennel Assistant. She has been with the force for just over a year having joined following a gap year, spent travelling. She is one of three kennel assistants who work alongside the force’s dog handlers and specialist staff to tend to the every need of the police dogs and their pups.

“Working at the kennels is fantastic,” said Georgia. “Me and the other two kennel assistants love our job and knowing that we are providing an important service to the Unit. It’s great to know that the force values the job we do and that it’s adopting the Real Living Wage scheme.

“We have over 50 kennel spaces and another area that we use to whelp the new puppies when they arrive. It’s demanding but we love it. We whelp all the pups and are there from the day they are born and on occasions take the puppies home that are rejected and need hand rearing, which require feeds every hour.

“It doesn’t matter what job you do or what your circumstances are, it’s important to feel that you are paid a fair wage.”

“We are delighted to be making this announcement to our dedicated and enthusiastic staff,” said Chief Constable Dave Thompson. “It is only right and proper that we pay our colleagues a fair wage for the excellent work that they do.

“When we launched the People Deal last year one of our commitments was to provide greater support for our people.

“Our vision to help those in need doesn’t exclude our own people – and by improving the package offered to our lowest paid colleagues it shows our commitment to delivering on the promises that were made.”

The current real Living Wage is £8.45 an hour, compared to the government National Living Wage of £7.45 an hour and the National Minimum Wage of £7.05 an hour. The real Living Wage is independently-calculated each year, based on what employees and their families actually need to get by.

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s own office is already a Living Wage employer