A TRADE union has ramped up the pressure on two Glasgow colleges to pay all of their employees a Living Wage.

UNISON bosses are calling on Glasgow Kelvin and Glasgow Clyde colleges to commit to the upping the pay of cleaners, caterers and other low paid staff at their sites.

The union’s campaigning on this issue has ensured all twenty of the colleges are Living Wage accredited and, in 18 of the 20 colleges, workers in outsourced services are also paid the Living Wage.

Now, only Kelvin and Clyde colleges remain as sites with staff being paid below this level.

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Other colleges in the sector have used their own funds to ensure low paid workers are paid the Living Wage - including City of Glasgow college.

Collette Bradley, chair of UNISON Scotland’s Further Education branch, said: “For two of Glasgow’s colleges to be bottom of the class in terms of paying the Living Wage is a damning indictment of their commitment to the Fair Work Agenda and speaks volumes about their attitude towards low pay and women workers.

“It is clear that these colleges are paying no heed to their paymasters in the Scottish Government and need to be brought quickly into line.”

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Both colleges are accredited Living Wage employers, with only outsourced employees now lagging behind in terms of pay.

Bosses at Kelvin College have said that in its next retendering process the remaining contracts affected will take place in the new year, committing to using only companies who pay the Living Wage.

Meanwhile, Clyde College say that two of its external contractors for cleaning and catering are those which do not pay Living Wage, but are not college employees.

However, the college stressed that they are supportive of the Living Wage.

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UNISON have now called for the Scottish Government to step in and force the ‘rogue’ colleges to ensure all of their staff are paid the Living Wage.

John Gallacher, UNISON Scottish organiser, said: “The Scottish Government couldn’t have been clearer over the last few years about its commitment to the Living Wage and what was expected of colleges.

"These two colleges have managed to find a way of turning what should have been a good news story in Living Wage week into yet another embarrassing headline for the further education sector in Scotland.

“We have fairly new principals in both of these colleges and we are calling for them to take immediate action to right the wrongs of their predecessors”.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “While colleges operate independently of Government and have responsibility for their own staffing provision, we encourage all employers to pay their workers the Living Wage.

“We welcome the fact that the number of Scots earning less than the living wage has hit a new low. In 2019, Scotland had the highest proportion of employees paid the real living wage or more across the UK; 83.1% of all employees in Scotland received at least the real Living Wage – up 2.5 percentage points since 2018, and we are going further by supporting more people into sustainable and fair work as a long-term route out of poverty.”