Lanarkshire college earns living wage accreditation

Announcement comes as Manchester University becomes 5000th living wage employer and UNISON names and shames colleges over pay

woman holding living wage sign

New College Lanarkshire has officially been named an accredited living wage employer by Living Wage Scotland.

Last week’s announcement means that everyone working at the college – regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff – receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.

This rate is significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over-25s of £7.83 per hour introduced in April 2018 and calculated by the Living Wage Foundation to more realistically reflect the cost of living.

UNISON reps at the college, Moira Jarvie and Collette Bradley, told the Daily Record: “UNISON is pleased that New College Lanarkshire has now achieved living wage accreditation in line with the national agreement with support staff unions to do so.

“We commend the college for finding a way to ensure that the low-paid staff are now being paid the living wage without further delay, and urge other colleges in the sector to follow this example.”

UNISON is a long-term campaigner for the living wage and was delighted by the announcement in the same week that the Living Wage Foundation has now accredited Manchester University – the 5,000th living wage employer in the UK.

But it also came just days after the union chose International Women’s Day to name and shame Kelvin College and Clyde College in Glasgow, together with Borders College and North East Scotland College.

UNISON research revealed that all National Recognition and Procedures Agreement (NRPA) colleges are living wage accredited and that all directly-employed workers in Scotland’s colleges are paid the living wage.

But it also found that out of the 20, those four still have outsourced workers who are paid at a rate less than the living wage.

UNISON’s Scottish further education committee vice chair Collette Bradley told The Herald: “For Clyde and Kelvin College still to be holding investigations – as they say – into how they can make this happen doesn’t wash with us nor does it wash with the low-paid workers languishing on poverty pay.

“They have known since January 2016 that accreditation was required by December 2016, with actual payment to follow on soon after.

“They both significantly missed the deadline and someone needs to step in now to ensure the colleges implement this without further delay even if that means using their own cash reserves to top up the wages of these low-paid workers while they resolve the contractual situation with the companies.”

UNISON guidance: bargaining for the living wage

The Living Wage Foundation