Shock survey shows 1 in 5 Birmingham council workers using foodbanks

22 Jun 2022
Press Office

Press Office

Member requiring help?
Printable PDF


Birmingham City Council has golden opportunity to support key workers facing a cost of living crisis -  pay women workers what they are owed.

A GMB survey of thousands of members at Birmingham City Council has painted a bleak picture of the cost of living pressures facing vital workers at the Council, with one in five council workers, or a member of their household, being forced to use foodbanks.

But the union says the local authority has a real chance to help its  workforce - by acting immediately to settle an equal pay issue which has seen thousands of women workers discriminated against and underpaid for years.

GMB has already warned the council that it could face significant disruption to the Commonwealth Games if action wasn’t taken urgently to compensate members for un-equal pay practices. [1] 

Other findings from the survey include: 

  • 96% of respondents reported they felt worse off than this time last year 
  • 98% felt that Birmingham City Council needed to do more to support employees with the rising cost of living 
  • 100% of those surveyed felt that it was vital Birmingham City Council settle outstanding equal pay claims 


Michelle McCrossen, GMB Organiser at Birmingham City Council, said:  

“Working people are facing a cost of living crisis, the worst in a generation. The findings in our survey paint a clear picture of working people across Birmingham being forced to turn to foodbanks just to keep their households fed”.

“Workers across the UK are being hit hard,  but Birmingham City Council has an opportunity right in front of them to do something about it.

“Unequal pay has seen discrimination of women workers hanging over the council for too long.

"Despite being amongst Europe’s largest local authorities, Birmingham City Council is fast becoming a watch word for pay discrimination against women workers.

“Now must be the time for Birmingham City Council take the opportunity to do the right thing and resolve this and help thousands of low paid workers in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

“One woman Birmingham City Council employee, a mother of two young children, told us she had to cut back on food during the school holidays and turn the heating off just to keep their heads above water.

“GMB wants to see Birmingham City Council do everything in its power to help working people through this crisis - that means paying the money owed to these women employed by the council”.

Join us and become a GMB member today.
Join today!