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Glasgow council to increase ‘Glasgow Living Wage’ and favour firms who pay it

Glasgow City Council is to increase the ‘Glasgow Living Wage’ from £7.65 to £7.85 to be in line with the national living wage. The new rate will apply to the council’s 19,500 staff and a further 41,500 workers across the city.

The largest local authority in Scotland will make the change from April next year. Council leader Gordon Matheson said he would be writing to every business in the city to urge them to follow suit.

Matheson has also announced that the authority will change its procurement process to give a “material advantage” to companies that pay their staff the Living Wage. He added the council would “further reward” companies who do not use “exploitative zero-hours contracts” and who do not use blacklisting. He hoped that the move will help tackle the “scandal” of in-work poverty.

He told the State of the City’s Economy conference: “A further two companies have now signed up to paying the Glasgow Living Wage — Nationwide Building Society and NG Homes. More than 61,000 employees now work for an organisation that pays the Glasgow Living Wage.

“Our approach to bringing prosperity to everyone in Glasgow goes further than this. For example, our procurement policy will reward those companies who pay the Glasgow Living Wage, offer real community benefits, don’t employ staff on exploitative zero-hours contracts and who don’t have a track of blacklisting trade union members.”

Currently Falkirk Council is the only authority in Scotland that is accredited as a National Living Wage employer.

A survey earlier this year by Unison found that 103 (27%) of the councils in England and Wales had adopted the living wage for employees.

In May, a move to make the living wage part of all public sector contracts was defeated in the Scottish Parliament.

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