UNISON will lead a campaign to ensure that every council
in the UK and all companies contracted to provide public
services, pay the Living Wage to their workers.
Delegates overwhelmingly supported a call from South
Lanarkshire Branch to end the scandal of poverty pay
for workers delivering public services.
Hazel Marshall told conference that the national minimum
wage is a national poverty wage and she celebrated UNISON’s
campaigning for the Living Wage which was introduced
by South Lanarkshire two years ago and which is now
£7.56 an hour,
“Certainly no King’s ransom,” said
Hazel, “But I do believe it is something to be
highlighted... and a testimony to the benefits of trade
union membership and UNISON campaigning.”
“However, not one Scottish Council has sought
to extend the Living Wage through procurement and external
contractors,” she added. “This means that
public money is going to contractors to provide public
services employing workers on national minimum poverty
wages – mostly women and often on zero hours contracts.
This is a publicly funded pay scandal,” slammed
The Scottish Government has cited European advice that
it would be illegal for councils to insert clauses into
contracts to require employers to pay the Living Wage.
“This is not acceptable,” said Hazel, pointing
to Glasgow City Council who intend to challenge the
Scottish Government with their own legal advice.
She called on UNISON to step up its campaigning and
to name and shame councils and contractors who insist
on paying poverty wages, and to press councils to use
procurement to ensure a Living Wage for all staff.