Saturday, 14 February 2015

UNISON wins Comhairle living wage backdating

UNISON’s Western Isles Local Government Branch has welcomed the Comhairle’s recent agreement to backdate payment of the National Living Wage to its lowest-earning staff to April 2013.

Back in November the Comhairle, following an intensive campaign by UNISON, agreed to pay the Living Wage for 2014 exclusive of Distant Islands Allowance. However, the council disagreed with the union over its obligation to also back-date living wage payments to April 2013 – which UNISON maintained had already been agreed as part of a national pay award.

UNISON Branch Secretary, Alison MacCorquodale (pictured) said: “UNISON welcomes the Comhairle’s agreement to finally back-date payment of the Living Wage to April 2013. We pushed the Comhairle hard to sort this out before Christmas, but they appeared to be burying their heads in the sand!”

UNISON had lobbied the council since 2012 to become a Living Wage Employer, but until Wednesday’s decision Comhairle nan Eilean Siar was one of only two councils across Scotland which had not fully implemented the Living Wage. The Living Wage, currently £7.65 per-hour, is considered to be the minimum a person needs to live decently and to provide adequately for their family.

Branch Organiser, Flora Somerville, said: “This will make a real difference to our lowest pay members - Decent wages for working people is at the core of a healthy local economy. We said we would not give up until the Living Wage is fully consolidated and incorporated into the Comhairle’s pay-scales, and that commitment by UNISON continues.”

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