Surviving the Cost of Living Crisis

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2023 National Women's Conference
14 October 2022

Conference notes that the exponential rise in energy costs, the highest interest rates in decades and the staggering increases in the cost of food are having a massive impact on our members’ standard of living. Following a decade of austerity, below inflation pay awards and pay freezes, in work poverty is soaring.

Poverty in the UK is gendered with women being more likely to be living in poverty than men. The gender pay gap, is a key factor in women’s higher levels of poverty, both while working and during retirement. Bottom loaded pay rises can reduce the pay gap as seen by the impact of the increase in the national living wage rate.

Conference condemns the approach of some public sector employers throughout the UK including the Scottish Government and COSLA to not “bottom load” the pay awards offered to staff. This means that the lowest paid staff, who are most severely affected by rising costs, receive the lowest pay increases in cash terms.

Conference recognises that within the public services in Scotland, these roles are predominantly filled by women. During the pandemic these roles were classed as essential and kept our country and communities going. However, women workers are exhausted and are now being insulted by the below inflation pay awards.

Conference supports the activities of all affiliates in trying to secure pay awards for members across both the public and the private sectors.

Conference therefore calls on the National Women’s Committee to:

• use its influence and profile to highlight the pay campaigns which affect our women trade union members.

• lobby the UK Governments to take substantial action on tackling the gender pay gap