The Scottish Trades Union Congress has reacted angrily at proposals by the Scottish Government to delay the introduction of statutory Scottish Government Guidance on the Living Wage.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said
“We are deeply disappointed that the Scottish Government has failed to deliver on its previous promise to consult on statutory guidance on promoting a Scottish Living Wage through procurement of public sector contracts.
“The STUC were always of the view the Scottish Government misinterpreted EU regulations and ECJ case law and was, as a consequence overly cautious in its approach to the potential for the inclusion of Living Wage clauses in public contracts although we were somewhat comforted by the fact that the Scottish Government committed to a consultation on the issue, we presumed this would be sooner rather than later.
“We accept statutory guidance is still on the table but our anger is at the timescale proposed and it is unlikely we will see such guidance until 18 months after the Procurement Reform Act has been passed and we consider this a serious breach of faith and are calling for a meeting with the Scottish Government to discuss this as a matter of urgency.
“Workers on low pay need lifted out of poverty now and very few contractors delivering goods and services to Scottish public bodies are living wage accredited employers. All too often the reason for non-accreditation is uncertainty over procurement rules and that progress cannot be made until Statutory Guidance is issued.
“The Scottish Government needs to rethink this timetable urgently, proposed non-statutory guidance will not force public bodies to address poverty wages in companies seeking public sector contracts, only well promoted and statutory guidance will achieve the commendable aim of the Scottish Government for the Scottish public sector to be a champion of the Scottish Living Wage.
For more Information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100