The Scottish Living Wage Campaign
We are a coalition of poverty activists, trade unions, faith groups and voluntary organisations with the aim of raising awareness and support for the living wage in Scotland. The Poverty Alliance provide admin and staff support to the campaign.
The original UK Living Wage campaign was launched in 2001 by parents in East London, who were frustrated that working two minimum wage jobs left no time for family life. You can read more about the History of the UK wide campaign here.
The Scottish Living Wage Campaign was established in the autumn of 2007 following a conference organised by the Poverty Alliance in Glasgow.
Following this, our steering group was established for the campaign, working hard over the past seven years to build support.
Learning from the success of the London Living Wage Campaign, which estimates to have put £24million back in the pockets of low paid workers since its launch in 2001, the campaign has gone from strength to strength.
The SLWC has had much success in securing the living wage for public sector employees within local authorities and NHS Scotland.
In early 2014, the campaign was successful in ensuring that the Scottish Government made amendments to the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill to require local authorities to include the living wage as part of the evaluation process in procurement processes. Further to this, the campaign is involved in drafting the guidance notes for local authorities ensuring that they have clear guidance around the Bill.
The campaign has been working with the Living Wage Foundation to encourage employers to go through the recognised accreditation process, ensuring that not only directly employed staff but also those who are subcontracted are ultimately covered by the living wage.
The number of accredited employers is increasing across the UK, with some recent notable Scottish employers including SSE plc, Falkirk Council and West Dunbartonshire CVS. Over the coming year the number of accredited employers in Scotland will increase as the Poverty Alliance implements the Living Wage Accreditation Project, funded by the Scottish Government.
Many large employers such as SSE have committed to pay all their staff the Living Wage, and are now actively involved in the Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.
You can visit the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative website here.
"I have recently started working with Dumfries Timber Company Group and already I feel like a valued member of staff. I was recently informed that DTCG have become a Living Wage Employer, consequently this directly affected myself, making a positive contribution to my salary.
As expected this has been hugely beneficial. At present I am currently saving for a deposit to take my first step on the property ladder. The increase in my wage makes living month to month that little bit easier whilst saving a large portion of my monthly wage. Working for this increased and fairer wage will make a huge difference to me and many others who will now feel more valued at work and encourage working harder. Moving to a living wage employer is another reason why I feel privileged to have found employment with the DTCG."