Glasgow City Council to Use Procurement Policy to Tackle In-Work Poverty

Posted in: General News

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council has announced a range of measures to tackle in-work poverty. They include using the council’s procurement policy to reward companies which pay the Living Wage and do not employ staff on exploitative zero hours contracts.

Speaking at the 17th annual State of the City Economy Conference in Glasgow, Cllr Matheson also told more than 600 business leaders that he was increasing the Glasgow Living Wage to £7.85 per hour (from £7.65) from 1 April 2015. Councillor Gordon Matheson said: “This has been a landmark year in Glasgow’s history, and provides a fantastic point from which to look to the future and how we can all shape – and benefit from – a prosperous Glasgow.

“In recent years, we have taken steps to ensure that Glasgow weathered the worst of the economic conditions, and as a result we have emerged with a much healthier and most diverse economy. But not everyone benefits from our improved position, and we want to do everything possible to ensure that in future they will.

“I am delighted to say that we will be increasing the Glasgow Living Wage to £7.85 from 1 April and I will write to every business in the city early next year calling on them to pay the Glasgow Living Wage to their staff.

“It is with great pleasure that I can say that a further two companies have now signed up to paying the Glasgow Living Wage – Nationwide Building Society and NG Homes. More than 61,000 employees now work for an organisation that pays the Glasgow Living Wage.

“Our approach to bringing prosperity to everyone in Glasgow goes further than this. For example, our procurement policy will reward those companies who demonstrate that they offer real community benefits, don’t employ staff on exploitative zero hours contracts, and provide their staff with employment and training opportunities. The responsibility to tackle the scandal of in-work poverty is something that is shared by the council and all of the contractors and suppliers we do business with.

“It is also shared by all the leaders of the Clyde Valley councils – our partners in the £1.13million City Deal – who are aware of the social and economic consequences of low pay and are committed to ensure that all contractors in the programme sign up to living wage, equality and non discrimination in their workforces.”

Other announcements by Councillor Matheson today included:

  • Linking Glasgow’s young people with jobs and educational opportunities in the growing science, technology, engineering and mathematical sectors through the STEM Hub opening at the new City of Glasgow College in 2015;
  • Guaranteed annual funding of £3.5million for next five years for the council’s money advice service, which – in partnership with the Wheatley Group and the NHS – has helped more than 70,000 Glaswegians over the last two years, bringing them more than £125million of support;
  • A commitment to develop innovative models for building affordable homes to meet the 100,000 increase in Glasgow’s population over the next 20 years;
  • Continued funding of the Glasgow Commonwealth Guarantee – which has created over 5,400 jobs and apprenticeships for Glaswegians over the past five years – until the financial year 2017/8.

The conference hosted a panel discussion and Q&A sessions featuring Councillor Gordon Matheson, Mark Harrop, Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, and Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Source: Glasgow City Council