Stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ call over living wage row

John Divers

A Labour councillor has hit back at SNP calls to ensure a living wage is paid by contractors who conduct work on behalf of the Moray Council.

SNP councillor Patsy Gowans called on the local authority to insist that a living wage is paid by contractors before they are provided with work in social and health care services.

Her call came during a discussion this week on the future integration of social and health services by local authorities in Scotland.

However, last night the Labour leader at Moray Council, Councillor John Divers, hit out at the SNP’s policies and called on Councillor Gowans and her colleagues to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Labour and Green party politicians on the issue.

He said: “I was surprised at this move by Councillor Gowans – her party knows full well that SNP MSPs joined forces with the Tories to defeat a Labour amendment in May that does exactly what she calls for.

“I suggest she and the Moray SNP stand shoulder to shoulder with the Labour Party and the Green Party to lobby Nicola Sturgeon for the living wage for all public workers – regardless of who their contract is with. Then maybe she will listen.”

Councillor Divers highlighted the comments of James Kelly MSP made shortly after the Holyrood defeat of a Labour amendment seeking a living wage over all public contracts.

In that Mr Kelly said: “There is no doubt the living wage is an idea whose time has come.

“The Labour amendment to pay £7.65 across all public contracts would make a massive difference to the 400,000 people who are not on the living wage currently, many thousands of whom would be covered by these public contracts.

“That would give a rise to many of £2,600 a year. 64% of these people are women, so this is an opportunity not only to help women but an opportunity to tackle low pay in public contracts.”

Leave a comment