Glasgow City Council pledge on low pay a ‘step in the right direction’

March 8th 2009

The Scottish Living Wage Campaign (SLWC) today welcomed the announcement by Glasgow City Council leader Stephen Purcell that no employee would be paid less than £7 per hour.

Following academic research funded by the Scottish Government, STUC and the Church of Scotland, the SLWC expects to launch a Living Wage for Scotland at the start of May which it expects to be on or above the figure announced by Purcell today.

The SLWC will work to ensure that community groups, faith organisations and trade unions will come together to run living wage campaigns in specific areas and employment sectors in Scotland focussing on both private and public sector employers who pay a proportion of their staff below the Living Wage figure.

Dave Moxham, STUC Deputy General Secretary said,

“Whilst Stephen’s announcement is not formally linked to our campaign, it is heartening to see Scotland’s largest council recognise that there is a basic decency threshold for pay in Scotland and that it is far in excess of the current National Minimum Wage. The natural extension of this is that the City Council should use its procurement processes to ensure its contractors in the public and voluntary sector to do the same”.

“The London Living Wage campaign has succeeded in persuading a range of employers including banks, hotels and universities to become Living Wage employers. We expect the pressure to rise in Scotland for similar employers to follow suit.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said,

“This is an important development from Glasgow City Council. Low wages remain a significant contributor to the overall problem of poverty. At a time of economic crisis it is vital that we do give up on the goal of ending child poverty and making work pay. By taking this step Glasgow City Council has set an example to all employers, both public and private, that low pay is a problem that they can and must deal with.”

ENDS

Contact: Dave Moxham: 0141 337 8100 Peter Kelly: 07766 606454

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