UNION leaders have joined calls for all public service employers to scrap the public sector pay cap.

One in 10 council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is paid below the living wage, according to Unison.

Bernadette Gallagher, Bolton Unison Branch Secretary said that “Large numbers of council workers are low paid workers.

“We need all employers to get on board with efforts to ensure that their employees are paid a real living wage. Councils should set an example as employers.”

During the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage week, Unison is calling for the government to better fund councils so they can become living wage employees.

Unison says that doing so would lift more than 60,000 cleaners, library assistants, residential and home care workers and other local authority staff out of poverty.

The new living wage rates are due to be announced next week.

The rate is currently £9.75 an hour in London and £8.45 in the rest of the UK, while the bottom hourly rate in local government is £7.78.