Strathclyde Telegraph

Strathclyde to pay the living wage

By Ross Gallacher

 

The University of Strathclyde is the latest organisation in Scotland to sign up to paying the Living Wage.

The news was confirmed by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Works, Skills and Training, at Scotland’s first Living Wage expo in Edinburgh. The University joins 338 bodies – including Carnoustie Golf Links – now accredited as paying the Living Wage, with campaigners hopeful that the number will rise to 500 by March.

Ms Cunningham said: “Our latest signees are one of Scotland’s finest universities and a regular host of golf’s Open Championship.”

“I hope, like many of the other firms accredited to date, they can help us set a good example to others around the country and help tackle low pay.”

“These organisations are showing that the benefits of paying the living wage, including increased staff morale, reduced absenteeism and higher levels of productivity, far exceed any barriers to paying it.”

At the moment the National Minimum wage is £6.70 per hour with the current UK Living Wage standing at £7.85. Scottish ministers and campaigners have been putting pressure on the UK Government to help families struggling with a low income and by rallying Living Wage employers.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal of University of Strathclyde, added: “We are delighted to be accredited as a living wage employer, a status reflecting our continuing commitment to our own university values – people-oriented, bold, innovative, collaborative and ambitious.”

“We benefit from dedicated and talented colleagues across all our communities – academic, research and teaching staff; administrative and professional services staff; technical staff; and our excellent operational staff providing a range of support services across the University.”

“The ongoing enhancement of our reputation and performance is critically dependent on each staff member’s skills, experience and support for our University’s strategic development, and we are naturally pleased to celebrate our formal accreditation as a Living Wage employer.”

The announcement was made as Scottish ministers criticised the UK Government’s plans for a national living wage.

Ms Cunningham has branding the proposals for a living wage of £7.20 an hour a “misappropriation of the term” and claimed the plan discriminates against under-25s.

“There also needs to be absolutely no doubt that the higher national minimum wage announced in the Chancellor’s budget is not and should not be called a living wage,” she said.

“The Scottish Government is committed to tackling low pay and the best means of doing so is by signing up to the real living wage to make a real difference to low income families.”

 

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