A Moray councillor has made a plea that the local authority ensure a living wage is paid to workers employed by companies or third sector organisations carrying out work on their behalf.
The call from Elgin City North councillor Patsy Gowans came during a discussion on the future integration of social and health care services.
Councillors were being updated on new regulations that require Councils and Health Boards to submit their plans for the scheme by April 2015.
Councillor Gowans, the SNP’s spokesperson on Health and Social Care, has for some time been a campaigner for fair pay in the care sector, where workers are frequently low paid, work long hours and have high levels of responsibility.
The new organisation being developed will have responsibility for commissioning services from external providers, many of whom are paying less than Living Wage to substantial numbers of employees at the present time.
Councillor Gowans said: “The SNP have shown at a national level in Scotland that it is possible to not only pay your own workers a living wage as a minimum but also to require companies and organisations carrying out contracts to pay a similarly fair wage for their employees hard work.
“Moray Council and the NHS, through the development of the new integrated Health and Social Care Service, needs to follow that example and while I accept that this is not without challenges, particularly in budgetary terms, it is a position we must work hard to get to in the shortest possible time.
“All workers, whether they are employed directly by the Council and the NHS or indirectly through contracts awarded to others, must be valued and to me that means paying the Living Wage.
“This is critical if we want to achieve a better society here in Moray and across Scotland and SNP Councillors will continue to press others to follow the example that our SNP colleagues in the Scottish Government have clearly set.”
Councillors agreed that a special meeting of the full council would be held to approve a draft scheme prior to commencing a consultation phase.