Sunday, 02 January 2011
Only 8 of 50 contracts offer Living Wage
Labour is failing to deliver its commitments on the minimum wage in Glasgow, despite it being their only policy for the 2011 election.
Evidence supplied by officials at the city council shows in October this year a £5 million two year contract for temporary staff was awarded by the council without even asking for the living wage to be paid.
In March 2009 former Labour leader Steven Purcell said: “Through our procurement policy and the Glasgow Living Wage Employer Award, we will work with employers in the public, private and voluntary sector to encourage them to pay low paid workers a decent wage, potentially affecting up to 80,000 people across the city.
Since then only 8 of 50 contracts with a total value of £43 million awarded deliver the living wage and the council has admitted it has no way of checking if contractors actually do pay the living wage.
In 24 cases where contractors could have been asked to offer the living wage the council did not ask them. In awarding the contract for employment of temporary workers Glasgow’s Director of Finance said it would “inappropriate” to ask as “the temporary labour market did not support the Glasgow Living Wage
Commenting on Labour’s failure to ask contractors to pay the living wage SNP MSP for Glasgow Bob Doris said: “This is another let down by Labour who once again have over promised and under delivered. “Labour say one thing to Glasgow’s workers but do another behind their back. Across the city people are being cheated by the council and its agencies.
"It is a disgrace that Labour said they would use contracts to deliver a wage they had no intention of doing. Labour handed over a £5 million contract for temporary staff without even asking for the living wage to be paid because “the market did not support it”. Directly contradicting claims that Labour were encouraging companies to use it.
“The SNP is working to protect incomes. We have delivered the minimum wage to Scottish Government employees, are extending it to the NHS and Government agencies and unlike Glasgow Labour we want to see council tax frozen – a promise the SNP will deliver on for a fourth year running.
“And the SNP is clear we will look at procurement and EU laws to see if we can formally include the living wage in public contracts.
"Temporary workers have every right to think Labour promised them a living wage in Glasgow, but clearly no chance of getting one."
SNP Councilor Graeme Hendry who uncovered the figures added: “When you scratch the surface of a Labour promise there isn’t much there. Once again Labour are failing to deliver their fair deal to the people of Glasgow.
"It is a con for Labour to promise wages they cannot deliver and have not even tried to put in place. For 24 contracts to be awarded without even being asked about a living wage is far from the promises Labour made.
"Temporary workers at the council want to know why when they were promised a living wage by Labour – they are being short changed next to their council counterparts."
Labour promised a living wage in Glasgow and to use procurement to encourage employers to pay a living wage in March 2009.
Investigations by Cllr Hendry into delivery of the Living Wage received the following information from Glasgow’s Director of Finance in October 2010.
50 contracts have been awarded by the Corporate Procurement Unit since March 2009:
- 8 contracts asked the question and received a positive response
- 18 procurement projects were too far into the procurement process to include (past PQQ stage)
- 24 procurement projects were awarded without asking the question as a result of either the; procurement process/documentation to include Living Wage had not being established living wage not appropriate
The Director of Finance confirmed that in the case of a £2.5 million per annum two year contract for temporary workers with ASA recruitment the contractor was not asked to pay the living wage. Stating that “in this instance it was not considered that the temporary labour market did not support the Glasgow Living Wage.” (Oct 22nd)
Questions from Cllr Hendry to the Corporate Services Director showed that contracts with a total value of £48,983,648.37 had been awarded between March 2009 when the Living Wage was introduced and October 2010.