Unison calls for action over Living Wage at City of Glasgow College
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The City of Glasgow College is set to investigate moving a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in London to the gates of the College, whilst failing to pay outsourced female employees the Real Living Wage of £8.75 per hour.
Minutes from a board meeting on the 11th of October 2017 obtained by UNISON show that the Chair of City of Glasgow College Alasdair Barron has suggested that consideration be given to relocate the Emmeline Pankhurst monument in Tower Gardens, London to the City of Glasgow College. He stated that this would be fitting given the College believed in “equality, opportunity and the rights of women”. The Board has agreed to investigate this further.
The Union has said that “far from celebrating the rights of women it is more an insult to women that the College is responsible for around 50 outsourced catering staff members (predominantly women) working within the College for Baxter Storey struggling on poverty pay.”
Although as part of the 2015/2016 pay deal with Unions, the Living Wage was introduced in all of Scotland’s Colleges for directly employed staff, this does not cover workers outsourced to private companies. As part of the same deal all Colleges in Scotland agreed to work to achieve Living Wage Accreditation status by December 2016 which would see improvements to the salaries of all workers within Colleges.
In February 2017 College Scotland Chief Executive Shona Struthers apologised for the delay in implementation. The SNP Minister for Education Shirley-Anne Somerville also wrote to the SFC in March 2017 saying “there are currently 5 Colleges and 5 Universities, not accredited as Living Wage employers. I ask that you build on this by encouraging more Colleges and Universities to become accredited employers”.
City of Glasgow College is the only College in Glasgow (and one of only 5 in Scotland) who have yet to achieve Living Wage Accreditation.
In a statement, Unison have said “It is regrettable that as the largest College in Scotland and in Glasgow that it is failing badly in how it treats the lowest paid workers in the sector.
UNISON has been leading the fight to ensure staff working in outsourced services like catering, security and cleaning are paid a decent wage for the invaluable services they offer to staff and students.”
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