Five Things Community Groups Can Do
We are lucky in Scotland to have such a vibrant, active range of community groups and associations which empower local people to make positive changes in their lives.
Low pay is a problem across Scotland - we probably all know someone who is affected by low pay, if not ourselves. The Living Wage brings benefits to not just individual workers, but to their families and communities too.
On a purely economic level, increasing wages increases spending in local shops and business. But we also know that the Living Wage allows workers to spend more time within their community - through volunteering for example, which benefits us all.
Here are some ways that community groups can get involved in the Scottish Living Wage Campaign:
Write to your MSP/MP/Local Councillor
Letting our elected representatives know that there is huge support for the living wage is really important! Although we are the fortunate position of having cross party political support for the campaign, we cannot afford to allow the issues of low pay and the living wage to slip down the political agenda.
It is also important to find out what our politicians are doing to promote the Living Wage in their constituency and ensure that as many employers as possible sign up to become Scottish Living Wage Accredited Employers.
By writing as a collective, you will add extra emphasis to your letter. It is really important that our representatives know our communities support the Living Wage and want it extended to as many workers as possible.
Here are some sample letters you can download and email to your elected representatives:
You can find their contact details using http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ by searching with your postcode.
Start a campaign!
If you are concerned about low pay in your local area and want to do something about it, why not start a local Living Wage Campaign? We can help you at every stage. You may want to focus your activity around building towards Living Wage Week, which takes place in November each year.
There are already some local campaigns up and running across the country - check if there is one near you!
Invite us to an event
Ask us to come along to your next community event to deliver a presentation and/or host an info stall. We can also run workshops on low pay and in work poverty. Our contact details are here.
Connect with us
Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter! We are also now on Instagram.
By sharing our updates on your social media accounts you are helping to build awareness and support for the Living Wage. You can also encourage your group members sign up to our e-news updates.
Write to local businesses/ employers
Is there an employer in your local area who is already paying the Living Wage? Why not nominate them to become an official Accredited Living Wage Employer? Just send us the details!
Celebrating Living Wage employers is a huge part of the campaign. It helps build support for the living wage and highlights the difference it can make to low paid workers, as well as the benefits to the business.
On the other hand, you may be aware of an employer who is paying poverty wages. We genuinely believe most employers care about the welfare and well-being of their employees. Many do not realise the implications of paying below the Living Wage. Take action and fill them in on the facts! We have drafted a letter which you can adapt and send onto local or national (or international!) employers: