We believe that a job should help you out of poverty, not keep you there.
The National Minimum Wage is not enough for individuals in Scotland to access the essentials of everyday life. £7.20 per hour (if you are over 25) will just never be enough to cover the day to day basics, nevermind to save some money or plan for emergencies.
Hundreds of thousands of workers are being paid wages that basically equate to poverty pay. This is simply not right.
We want to support individuals and communities to campaign for the expansion of the Living Wage, which is currently £8.45 per hour (as of November 2016). It is one of the most important tools we have in fighting in work poverty in Scotland.
If you would like to find out more about our work then please visit our dedicated website at: www.slw.povertyalliance.org
Read our blog on the UK Government's budget and the "National Living Wage" here.
Scotland is well on track to having 500 Living Wage-accredited Employers by March 2016 with a further milestone reached today.
Riverside Cottage Nursery in Bathgate has been confirmed as the 250th accredited employer. This news comes on the same day that Dumfries and Galloway Council are confirmed as the second accredited local authority in Scotland.
Luke Addison, nursery manager said: “We are thrilled to be recognised as a nursery which has fairness and equity for both children and staff deeply embedded in our ethos. We believe that in our changing, growing country, everyone and particularly businesses must take their responsibilities to society seriously. A progressive approach is important to us; we are one of few outdoor nurseries in Scotland and extremely proud to be a Living Wage employer.”
Carol Ann, nursery practitioner added: “It’s wonderful that the nursery is now in a position to pay the living wage. It makes a real difference at the end of the month for my family and reflects that I’m genuinely valued for my work. If this is possible in the childcare sector, there really is no excuse for companies like Amazon to continue paying the minimum wage.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader, Ronnie Nicholson, said:
“Last week, our Council approved a new anti-poverty strategy for Dumfries and Galloway. The strategy sets out what we will do to improve the lives of people in our region experiencing poverty, in all its forms. The strategy aims to tackle this through creating actions that will address the causes of poverty.
“Our Council considers the Living Wage as the single most important contribution to tackling poverty across the region. Dumfries and Galloway is the lowest paid region in Scotland. I am proud that this council is playing its part in tackling that problem by delivering a Living Wage for our staff. But I want to see that rolled out to as many workers across our region through our partners and contractors. Therefore, we will be promoting Living Wage accreditation to all organisations in our region across the public, third and private sectors.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:
“Congratulations to both Dumfries and Galloway Council and to Riverside Cottage Nursery on becoming accredited Living Wage employers. “Local authorities play a vital role by setting an example for employers in their area.
“By signing up to the Accreditation Initiative, Dumfries and Galloway Council have ensured that all of their of employees will always get paid at least the Living Wage. Riverside Cottage Nursery’s accreditation as Scotland’s 250th Living Wage employer is an important milestone for the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.
“We know that childcare is an area where many women are trapped in low pay but Riverside Cottage Nursery have shown that it is possible for childcare providers to pay the Living Wage and we hope that others will follow suit. It is great to see more and more organisations – of all shapes and sizes – signing up to accreditation and recognising the role of employers in tackling in work poverty.
“We are confident of meeting our target of 500 accredited living wage employers in Scotland by March, and look forward to working with more employers over the coming months.”
Public procurement: A consultation on changes to the public procurement rules in Scotland.
Update: Glasgow University have announced their intention to become a Living Wage Employer! You can read thier statement here.
We have been working with the GU Oxfam Group to establish a Living Wage Campaign on campus. The group believe that the University should take the “moral initiative” and become an Accredited Living Wage Employer.
They are collecting signatures for a petition, which will be presented to the University Court & Board in early 2015. You can sign the petitionhere.
You can also keep up to date with the group’s campaign on their Facebook page.
If you would like to read about the other campaigns we are currently supporting in Scotland, please visit our website.
We are delighted to reach the milestone of 100 accredited Living Wage Employers in Scotland!
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid a visit to the 100th Scottish Living Wage Employer, McKean Developments in Barrhead, Glasgow today.
The First Minister welcomed the progress being made and urged other companies to sign up, she said: “It is great news that 100 companies are now accredited as Living Wage employers. The Scottish Government fully supports the Living Wage campaign and we recognise the real difference the Living Wage makes to the working people in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government is not able to set pay levels in the private sector, or indeed the wider public sector in Scotland where employees are not covered by our pay policy, however we DO encourage all public, private and third sector organisations to ensure all staff on lower incomes receive a fair level of pay, and we are funding the Poverty Alliance to take forward the accreditation scheme.
“The list of 100 accredited companies clearly demonstrates it is not just big businesses who are providing a fairer deal for their staff but small companies like McKean Developments Ltd which is guaranteeing the living wage for their staff. I would encourage all employers across Scotland to take the lead from the these 100 organisations and give their workers a Living Wage.”
Colin McLean sales and technical manager at McKean Developments Ltd, said: “As a Living Wage Employer it is our belief that our workforce deserve to be paid an honest and decent wage in return for their services. It’s that simple. This, in turn, has helped increased both production capability and morale within our business, leading to increased customer satisfaction and a top quality finished product, not to mention a better quality of life for all of our employees.”
We have a new leaflet for the Scottish Living Wage Campaign, and you can download an electronic version of it from our website:http://slw.povertyalliance.org/resources/leaflets
If you would like hard copies please get in touch:firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative is to receive an additional £200,000 of Scottish Government funding, bringing to total funding package to £280,000.
The initiative aims to encourage employers to pay their staff the living wage and be accredited as doing so. It has been running in Scotland since April 2014 and there are almost 70 accredited employers in Scotland to date.
This additional funding will allow the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative to build on its initial success and fight to ensure that all workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said today:
“We are delighted by today’s announcement of additional funding for the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.
“Since it was established in April, the number of employers accredited in Scotland has tripled.
“This funding will allow us to build on this success and we hope to see more employers, from all sectors, becoming accredited.
“We know that in work poverty is growing in Scotland and the living wage is one of the best tools to tackle this”.
To find out more about the Accreditation Initiative please visit their website here.
To mark Living Wage Week people in Hamilton in Scotland, Hamilton in Canada and Hamilton in New Zealand got together to celebrate their successes and to support the continuing campaigns to make all 3 Hamiltons fully Living Wage towns. Unfortunately this didn't include an all expenses trip to either Canada or New Zealand. Instead we linked up through the internet to share an event across the oceans.
Our colleagues in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada hosted the event with the assistance of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation local office, who also conducted interviews with each of us in turn.
Those who participated in the event were:
From Hamilton, New Zealand - Rose Black and Anna Cox from Anglican Action and Annie Newman and Lyndy McIntyre from Living Wage New Zealand
From Hamilton, Ontario – Tom Cooper and Judy Travis - who chairs the Hamilton Living Wage working group and Deirdre Pike from the Social Planning and Research Council who was one of the earliest living wage advocates and helped develop the Canadian calculation and materials. And Donna Jean Forrester Gill from Living Wage Canada (Vibrant Communities Canada).
From Hamilton, Lanarkshire was members of the Lanarkshire Forum for Social and Economic Justice, trade unions in Hamilton, the Scottish Living Wage Campaign and officers from South Lanarkshire Council.
You can watch the full interview on YouTube here.
The UK Living Wage Foundation announced that the Living Wage is to increase to £7.85 per hour. Our Co-Chair, Peter Kelly, said: "The living wage in Scotland is now gaining genuine momentum with employers - the number of employers paying it here has tripled from 20 to 60 in the last six months.
"But there is no room for complacency. Low pay and in-work poverty is one of the main causes of child poverty in Scotland, so we need to build on the good work that has already been done.
The Living Wage Foundation said the new £7.85 rate "reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day's work with a fair day's pay".
Director Rhys Moore said: "Low pay costs the taxpayer money - firms that pay the minimum wage are seeing their workers' pay topped up through the benefits system.
"So it's right that we recognise and celebrate those employers who are voluntarily signing up to the higher Living Wage, and saving the taxpayer money in the process."
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