Commitment to Living Wage

Aberdeenshire Council has pledged to introduce the Living Wage supplement, supporting its lowest paid workers across the authority.

At the meeting of Policy & Resources Committee held on Thursday November 15) a recommendation was put forward by the Leader of the Council Cllr Jim Gifford to make a commitment in principle to introduce the Living Wage supplement.

It was agreed that proposals should be presented to committee at the earliest opportunity exploring the full implications and options for introducing the Living Wage supplement in the context of on-going national and local negotiations.

Cllr Jim Gifford said: “We recognise that a large proportion of our workforce are in low paid jobs due to the nature of the services that the council offers. We value our workforce and need to take action to support our lowest paid staff through these difficult financial times.

“I hope that this commitment by the council will make a significant difference to the lives of our lowest paid staff and their families.”

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually.

It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and is higher than the statutory minimum wage that all employers must pay.

Scottish Labour Group Leader Councillor Alison Evison said: “Labour has been working steadily and with determination to ensure that the Living Wage is treated as a priority in Aberdeenshire. We were very concerned that what was clearly right in terms of fairness and social justice was not being done.

“The Living Wage gives a worker the minimum hourly wage necessary to meet his/her own or his/her family’s basic day to day needs. We believe that this is essential if those working hard within our communities are to feel comfortable with their quality of life.

“We were therefore delighted when the Administration responded to our campaigning and announced its commitment to implementing the living wage.

“The living wage will make a real difference to the lives of many of our low paid workers. It will show that their contribution to delivering services across Aberdeenshire is really valued.

“It should also bring other benefits to Aberdeenshire. The experience of other authorities shows that the Living Wage has a positive effect on recruitment and retention, motivation and productivity. It also helps local economies when people have a bit more to spend.”