On the last afternoon of Congress 2014, Grahame Smith, STUC general Secretray delivered the following statement to conclude the debate on A Just Scotland:
President, Congress, happy to present the General Council statement on A Just Scotland and urging support for Composite
C and amended motion 103 and asking Congress to oppose motion 105.
Congress, opening this debate on behalf of the General Council, Mary Senior
persuasively outlined the reasons why we should be proud of the STUC’s A Just Scotland
We have shifted the referendum debate firmly onto social justice and
onto the real priorities of the working people we represent.
But Congress I’ve heard it argued – at this Congress and elsewhere –
that our refusal to tow a Yes or No line demonstrates a lack of leadership.
I refute this absolutley.
In many ways for the STUC choosing one side and blindly pursuing its
rigid arguments would have been the easy option. But it would have also risked the unity of the
Developing and promoting A Just Scotland has been an intense and
But we know trade union members and many in wider society have valued
our contribution and the difference it has made to the debate.
It is right that people should read and learn from our reports knowing
that they’ve been compiled to constructively challenge both sides.
And that is what we have done this week in the two question and answer
Hard, fair and informed questions to both sides eliciting revealing
responses; sometimes welcome, sometimes not.
Both Yes and No positions have profound implications for the future of
our nation – defending these positions shouldn’t be an easy ride for anyone.
Whether it be the First Minister on tax and procurement or Johann Lamont
on Trident or public spendingit is our
responsibility to highlight inconsistencies and weak arguments.
And we will continue to do so.
Congress,it is of course
acceptable and understandable that affiliates will develop their own positions
on the referendum. These are reflected in our agenda.
However the terms of motion 105, if adopted would be tantamount to
taking a Yes position which would be incompatible with the A Just Scotland
approach. It would throw away the outstanding work undertaken over the last two
years and marginalise our impact in the remaining months before the referendum.
The General Council is entirely comfortable with affiliates taking their
own positions. But it is essential that we leave this Congress with a united STUC
One that will give strength to our A Just Scotland approach.
One that will secure our influence in the debate.
But Congress, the increasingly febrile nature of the debateandthe exaggerated and at times hystericalclaimsof both campaigns is deeply
worrying because the tone is being set for the referendum’s aftermath.
Whether it is a yes or no vote the political atmosphere could quickly
This is why it is so important that the Scottish trade union movement
continues to play a central role in ensuring the path to Scotland’s
constitutional future is as smooth and consensual as it can possibly be.
Whatever the outcome in September our actions as a movement will be
driven by our values - our values of unity and solidarity.
Whatever the outcome, Scotland’s trade union movement and civic society
must be at the heart of the negotiation process forindependence or enhanced devolution.
And we will not be shy about stating our red line issues:
If it is independence there must be no backtracking on Trident;
and trade union freedom must be at the top of the agenda for the new Scottish
If it’s enhanced devolution then tax powers must go further than those
proposed by the Labour’s Devolution Commission.
And we need to see a new direction from UK Labour. More austerity is not
We will not accept a little bit less of the same.
We want a lot more of something different.
Whatever the outcome in September there will be change - and the trade
union movement on this island will not be immune from it.
Whatever the outcome we all need to remember the need for unity amongst
workers; within and between unions and between trade union centres.
But if we want to be in a postion to shape that change, to achieve A
Just Scotland- closing our eyes,
keeping our fingers crossed and hoping change won’t affect us not an option.
The status quo is not an option.
If we fail to recognise that we fail to recognise the danger of division
– division that will damage our class and our movement and will have the bosses
rubbing their hands.
Our objective is to move forward together. But if the opportunity to
advance is offered should it be rejected because it is denied elsewhere?
If Scotland’s constitutional arrangements, whatever they turn out to be,
allow us to advance the cause of social and economic justice, would it not
ultimately benefit workers across these islands?
We have the capacity to lead that change but we need thecapacity tochange ourselves.
This is an historic moment for our country and our movement.
It will fall to us to define the road we take, to shape our future, to
grasp the opportunity to achieve A Just Scotland.
Our ability to do it lies in every workplace where there is a union
In every workplace where good reps do what good reps do –build the union – and fight for their
It lies in our ability to organise;
In our ability to take on the bad bosses;
In our ability to stand up for our values and our beliefs.
This Congress meets on the cusp of a momentous moment in Scotland’s
history. The prospect of profound change in our nation’s democracy is very real.
But we should be in no doubt that whatever our constitutional future
working people will still have to contend with the Jim Ratcliffes, Michael O’Leary’s
and the faceless private equity barons of this world. They’re not going
But Congress neither are we!
Scottish constitutional debate is a debate about where power should lie and
why.It will be of little real relevance
unless government, wherever it sits, has the power and is willing to use it to
prevent the destructive actions of private equity or if workers through their
union, do not have the power to influence the actions of an employer, and
achieve a much more equal share on our national wealth.
I commend the statement and our A Just Scotland approach to Congress.
On the last afternoon of STUC Congress 2014, Mary Senior, UCU delivered the following speech moving support for Composite motion C on A Just Scotland:
Inverness two years ago we decided that the debate over Scotland’s
constitutional future was just too important to be left to the politicians
STUC Congress was
determined that the voice of working people would be heard and that the programmes
of the Yes and No campaigns would be tested against the proud and unwavering values
of our movement. With the future of our country at stake we were simply not
prepared to settle for debate containing little more than political fluff,
sound bites and half-truths.
I think I can state with some confidence that the STUC’s A Just Scotland
campaign has achieved these aims. It is true that much of the public debate
remains mired in assertion and incivility - with personal abuse continuing to be
a very unwelcome feature particularly on social media - but the campaigns and
political parties have had to respond to the analysis and difficult questions
set out in the two A Just Scotland
publication of the interim report there was a discernible shift in the terrain
on which the referendum battle was being fought. The ground shifted to
competing visions of social justice. This will be the legacy of A Just Scotland.
people are now better informed on the issues that at the core of the debate.
Politicians and the campaigns are now more aware of the questions working
people want answered.
every question set out in the second A
Just Scotland report has been satisfactorily answered - the contributions of
both Alex Salmond and Johann Lamont at the Congress both testify to this fact -
but the STUC will continue to press the campaigns over the coming months to
make sure our members are as informed as they can be when they step into the
ballot box on September 18th.
the outcome in September the STUC will as ever vigorously defend the interests
of working people in Scotland: whether it be making sure that workers’ rights
are at the forefront of the political agenda in an independent Scotland or
fighting for enhanced devolution which is sufficiently strong to deliver on
social justice in the face of Tory austerity at Westminster.
working people know that constitutional change cannot in and of itself deliver
a better, more socially just Scotland. The same elites and vested interests
that have Osborne’s back on austerity will remain as active and well-funded in
whatever constitutional scenario Scotland finds itself in. Scotland’s trade
unions will continue to be the progressive force which counteracts and
overcomes these forces of privilege and self-interest.
STUC will remain at the forefront of the constitutional debate and A Just Scotland initiative will continue
to inform and challenge in advance of the referendum. A Just Scotland will not be won or lost on 18 September. The trade
union movement knows that whatever the decision the fight for social justice,
good jobs and public services will go on. The STUC, with the support of this
Congress, will be ready to meet the challenge.
The following speech on the economy was delivered to STUC Congress 2014 by Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary UNITE on behalf of the STUC General Council:
We meet here today at a
time when the eyes of the world are looking at Scotland and its democracy.
Questions are being asked about
And it’s position within
But Congress - whatever the
outcome on 18th September, I want a Scotland that will deliver
fairness for its people.
A Socially Just Scotland
An economy - where the work
you do is paid at a fair rate - where
the minimum wage is the Living Wage;
An economy where we have
decent homes for all - and the abolition of the despicable bedroom tax;
A country that protects the most vulnerable in society;
And of course – A country that protects our public services
and our beloved National Health Service.
But Congress – This UK government’s
austerity measures are damaging the most vulnerable in our society and pitching
one against the other:
The young against the old
The abled bodied against the disabled
And the employed versus the unemployed
I am bitterly disappointed with a Labour Party which has sided with the
Con-Dem government to support a cap on welfare benefits – they should hang
their heads in shame
The UK government says - that its deep rapid cuts
cannot be avoided – and you need to accept that.
Ministers claim this is the only way to deal with the deficit - and of course - we’ve been told
there is more of the same to come, £25
billion worth to be exact.
They also want us to think that the only choice is
between cutting spending and increasing tax rates.
However the cuts that have been made have slowed the recovery.
Instead of forcing banks to
lend to small businesses - which would create jobs as well as offering
opportunities for young people to work - this UK Government is focusing its
plans on cutting welfare benefits and public services.
With 900,000 unemployed
young people, we urgently need a strategy to prevent another lost
We need to incentivise
employers to employ our young people by providing more apprenticeships and tax
We need to defend the
collective bargaining agenda from further attacks by a UK Government set on
reducing workers collective strength - but also to restore justice at work by
halting the decline in real wages.
And we need a strategy for growth
which will get Britain back to work.But
these need to be quality jobs. Not the low skill, low wage jobs we see being
People need job security -
not zero hours contracts - with workers not knowing if they have work from one day
to the next and unable to make any plans for their future.
There is only one winner in
that contractual arrangement - and it’s not the workers or the economy – It’s
the greedy employers.
We know only too well the
individual hardships people face as they are told their job is redundant.We see the impact this has on them and their
families as they desperately look for something else in a job market which is
offering low paid, insecure work.
All of us here today will
have first-hand experience of the huge increase in casework as rogue employers
take advantage of the UK Government’s attacks on ordinary workers’ rights - by
meting out unjustified punishments to workers, and their representatives, who
are striving to do their best in very difficult times.
Since the late 1970’s, the
share of GDP going to workers’ wages has fallen from 65% to 53%, with those in
the middle and the bottom hit hardest.
At the same time - the
proportion going to profits and to the wealthy has risen sharply.
As wages have stagnated -
debt has soared and incomes have been squeezed further.
report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that during the recession - the
number of households that cannot afford a decent standard of living have
increased by a fifth – from 3.8 million to 4.7 million.
That is why we are seeing
more and more people using pay day loan companies and food banks to get by from
one week to the next.
The Office for Budget
Responsibility expects household debt in the UK to reach over £2 trillion by
But Congress - there is a
better way. One based on social justice.
As trade unionists we must
galvanise the support of our sisters and brothers,
Our friends and family -
and the communities we live in.
We need to ensure proposals
for sustainable economic growth are delivered - which are tied to an industrial
strategy based upon a trade union agenda,
On the first morning of STUC Congress 2014, the following speech was delivered by STUC Vice-President June Minnery (GMB) in moving a composite motion on collective bargaining:
bargaining is about more than obtaining a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s
work, protecting terms and conditions and safeguarding our members’ health and
It is about equality.
It is about building and sustaining workplace democracy. It is about the
development of a society which is fairer, more equal and democratic - and where
economic power is more evenly distributed.
The sorry truth is
that for far too long now, successive governments have refused to acknowledge
any kind of positive role for collective bargaining. It has been considered an
unwelcome rigidity which prevents the otherwise flexible labour market from adjusting
to meet changes in demand for labour. The wider benefits of collective
bargaining have been deliberately obscured and diminished. For flexible labour
market read low wage, low regulation, and low valuation of a disposable
But if politicians
do indeed want to tackle economic insecurity and income inequality – and, yes,
that is a big ‘if’! - then government at all levels must urgently reassess the
benefits of collective bargaining.
referendum campaign we have heard an awful lot about the superior economic and
social performance of the Nordic nations. But this rarely includes reference to
the high levels of trade union membership and very wide collective bargaining
coverage which are at the very centre of their models:
In Norway 72% of
workers are covered by collective agreements. This rises to 82% in Demark and to
90% in Finland. In Sweden the pay, terms and conditions and pension rights of
92% of all workers are safeguarded by collective agreements. It is no accident
that womens’ participation in the labour market is higher in these countries
and that the gender pay gap is lower.
distribution in these countries is – hardly surprisingly – much more fairly
distributed than in Scotland and the UK. Indeed, across all the developed
nations, higher collective bargaining coverage is positively correlated with
lower income inequality. More workers covered by a collective agreement leads
to a fairer distribution of income; end of story.
As with the Nordic
nations, few of the politicians currently in thrall to the German industrial
model have talked about the collective bargaining which helps drive a long term
ethos throughout the system. It appears that when studying the experiences of
other countries people often see only what they want to see.
It’s also revealing
to track over time how the decline in union membership and collective
bargaining coverage is accompanied with the top 1% grasping an even bigger
slice of the cake for themselves.
In 1970 with trade
union membership and collective bargaining coverage at an all-time high in the
UK, the income share of the top 1% was only 5%. As bargaining coverage declined
over the following three decades the income share of the top 1% tripled. The
less workers are covered by collective agreements the greater the ability of
those at the top to loot the gains produced by all.
composite includes a range of proposals which if implemented would go a long
way to ensuring more people benefit from the higher pay and greater security
provided by a collective agreement. The benefits of collective bargaining are
confirmed by a large and accumulating body of research. Politicians, who tell
us they want policy to be evidence based, should really start acting on it. The
Scottish Government now has an opportunity to do exactly that through the
Mather Commission in which the STUC is heavily involved.
And Congress it is
essential that free, independent trade unions are at the core of any new
efforts to extend and improve collective bargaining across the economy. The
last thing Scottish workers need is for their pay, terms and conditions to be
negotiated by ‘employee representatives’ who haven’t been democratically elected
and are usually captured by management. Scotland doesn’t need ostensibly
progressive but practically weak models of workplace relations imported from elsewhere.
This composite is a
litmus test for Government at all levels: seek to support an agenda for
collective bargaining or cease with platitudes about inequality, low wages and decent
But let me make
clear that the STUC General Council knows that increasing the number of people
in Scotland covered by a collective agreement ultimately depends on the
effectiveness of trade union organising agendas. We’re not looking for anyone
else to do this for us. All the measures outlined in this composite seek to
achieve is the creation of a level playing field for union organisers to do
what they do.
It is right that
Scotland’s trade unions are at the forefront of the living wage campaign. The
national minimum wage which has done so much to help the very lowest paid was
also one of our great successes. However, in supporting fair wages across the
economy, protecting hard won terms and conditions and underpinning a better
society it is collective bargaining which really matters.
A short Twitter exchange this
morning, ended with the suggestion that I blog on the issue of Procurement and
the Living Wage.It won’t be the first
time I have done this, but it’s no problem to do so again.
Pat Kane @thoughtland
I am interested in
BoJo London living wage. In 2012, re: EU procurement, law WAS threatened: http://ow.ly/3im5lA
Info on situation now?
The article in question suggested a Westminster Government view in
2012 that the London Living Wage (or at least its application through
procurement contracts) might be in contravention of EU Procurement Law.This is not a novel view, and is essentially
repeated in Scotland by the Scottish Government.Boris Johnson, Ed Miliband and others
disagree. The short answer to the twitter question would have been. 'The situation is the same as was then. London continues to implement a number of Living Wage contracts and there has been no legal challenge'.
the Scottish Government sought the ‘clarification’ of the European Commission on the possibility of requiring
contractors, as part of the public procurement process, to pay their staff a
'living wage', higher than the minimum wage.It has to be said that, assuming the Scottish Government would like it
to be the case that the living wage can be stipulated through public contracts,
it was not a very sensible or helpful letter to write.
confirms my understanding that it is not possible to require contractors to pay
their employees a living wage as part of a public procurement process.”
First off, we should deal
with one common misapprehension. The proposal to include Living Wage provisions
within the Procurement Scotland Bill is not about requiring contractors to
become Living Wage employers in all of their business activities – nice though
that would be.To say that (for example)
SERCO, which isn’t a Living Wage employer, was barred from tendering for, or
being awarded, any public contract because it isn’t a Living Wage employer in
general, would be illegal under EU law.
The more interesting question is whether public bodies can stipulate as a contract performance clause that the Living Wage should be paid in
the delivery of a particular contract. This is essentially what the amendment to the Procurement Bill we have been supporting seeks to do.
To be fair to the Scottish Government, they did explore this
issue to a degree with the EU Commission.The EC response was that such actions were possible, providing that the payment
of the Living Wage was compliant with the Posted Workers Directive, and in particular
with interpretation following the judgment in the Ruffert case. What this judgment signifies, in a nutshell, is that in
certain circumstances there are restrictions on the setting of wage levels for
contracts above national minimums if the likely effect on other EU companies is
to introduce “an additional economic burden that may prohibit, impede or
render less attractive the provision of their services in the host Member State”.In this respect the key issue, whether in
relation to the Ruffert judgment or the more general clause 56 of the Treaty of
the Functioning of the European Union, is whether companies based in other EU
members states would be commercially disadvantaged by a Living Wage stipulation
and , if that were the case, whether it could be justified in terms of the
social provisions within EU Procurement Law.
In the Ruffert case, the action which was ruled illegal was to
set a contract condition that the successful bidder should adhere to wage
levels set through collective bargaining agreements in a specific part of the
construction sector.This was action was
defended by Lower Saxony on three grounds, the key one being that the state measure was justified by the objective of protecting workers.
The European Court of Justice found against Lower Saxony on the
grounds that the wage stipulation was not necessary to protect workers citing the fact that the provision was not necessary, was not universally applied (only to public sector
construction contracts) and because the rate was higher than provided for by
It should be said that trade unions across Europe have plenty of reasons to dislike the Ruffert case but that does not mean that its implications can be ignored and on the face of it, it appears to pose some difficulties for Living Wage and procurement in Scotland,. But before jumping to that judgment, the following should be considered.
1)In the Ruffert case the potential for the wage stipulation to be to the detriment of
companies based in other member states was effectively agreed by all
parties.That is to say that no one questioned
that the effect of the Lower Saxony approach to contracting would be to restrict
the ability of companies based in other EU to member states to successfully
compete.In construction, workers are
routinely paid at rates considerably higher than the minimum wage. Thus there
is the potential for a company to pay posted workers above the legal minimum,
but below the industry standards and still absorb other costs (travel,
accommodation etc) implicit in posting workers.As we will see, it is far more difficult to argue that a Living
Wage stipulation for contracts such as in social care or cleaning is comparable.Whilst it was difficult in Ruffert to deny that there was any protectionist element in Lower Saxony’s actions, it would be
much easier so to do in respect of a Scottish Living Wage provision.
2)There was no actual set wage rate identified by
Lower Saxony in the Ruffert case.The wage
rate being set by collective sector agreements in part of the construction
industry.This makes it harder to a)
judge the potential detriment to a contractor b) to argue that the different wage
rate was set by “laws, regulations and/or administrative provisions” as is required by the Posted Workers Directive
and c) that the wage rate was necessary for the protection of workers.
The legal opinion we
have been provided with, and is a matter of public record, suggests that it is possible to legislate in Scotland in
a way that avoids these problems.
Firstly an objective analysis
could be undertaken to assess the potential impact on companies based in other
member states of introducing a Living Wage contract performance clause.A possible question might be.Are there any companies from other EU member
states currently delivering any Scottish procurement contracts, employing posted
workers and paying less than the Living Wage?I’m fairly certain the answer is No.The vast majority of procurement contracts are in the field of health
and social care.Some of the Scottish based
companies and voluntary organisations pay between the Minimum wage and Living
Wage, and the difference between the two rates is currently £1.14 per
hour.To quote Unison's Dave Watson in his evidence to the Scottish Parliament
“Let us think about this: that directive is a European piece
of legislation governing cases in which a company, presumably from a low-wage
eastern European economy, posts workers to Scotland to deliver a particular
public service contract. One could imagine certain high-level, high-wage areas—for
example, the offshore areas where the people Pat Rafferty represents work—where
a company might want to bring workers over, accommodate them and so on. Can you
really see the same thing happening in a cleaning or hospitality contract,
where the difference in wages will be between the national minimum wage and the
living wage? Is that profit margin enough to pay for the accommodation of
hundreds of Polish, Romanian or Bulgarian cleaners or hospitality workers?
Clearly it is not, which is the reason why there have been no challenges.”
Secondly, the Scottish Government can go further in its
justification for stipulating a Living Wage than Lower Saxony did in the Ruffert
case.It can argue that the protection
it suggests is a question of ‘human dignity’. Our legal advice says that attaching more
weight to the employment protection issues such as describing the Living Wage as
a matter of human rights protection makes the courts apparently more willing to
accord them greater weight.Could such a
description be justified?Of course it
could. Firstly, the Living Wage is significantly lower and 'more basic' than the likely wage rates being suggested in the Ruffert case. Also, unlike the UK Minimum Wage which is
essentially a negotiated rate set by government based on the balancing of both fairness
and commercial considerations, the key processes involved in setting the Living
Wage (Minimum Income Standard, participatory budgeting etc) have a meaningful read
across to human rights.
Thirdly, the Scottish Government could set the Living Wage rate
in (probably) secondary legislation and provide a note on how the future rate
would be calculated.This would do two
things.It would avoid the ‘Ruffert
problem’ of the rate not being set by ‘laws
regulations and/or administrative provisions’.It would also provide the potential to
quantify any potential detriment to companies bidding from overseas on the
basis of posting workers (not that we believe the need would ever arise).
one final problem remain?Would a court
rule as sufficient cause for overturning a contract the fact that the Living
Wage rate is not universal (i.e. only applied to public sector contracts) and
that the rate of pay guaranteed is greater than that provided for in the
national legislation? It seems to me that this is unclear.Firstly it is uncertain whether this would be
a defining issue given that the other problems arising from Ruffert could be
dealt with and particularly important in this might be the different criteria
adopted for setting Minimum Wages and Living Wages (with the second being more
grounded in human dignity considerations). Secondly, and perhaps quite
importantly, the Scottish Government does not have the legislative competence to change the level of
the National Minimum Wage even if it wanted to.
I am certainly no legal
expert.But what I do know is that significant
advances on procurement and social and environmental policy have been achieved
precisely because European Governments and other public authorities have taken
a proactive approach to exploring the boundaries of EU procurement law- A6.1.2
Region (Commission v the French Republic) is a frequently quoted example.It is also the case that there has never been a legal challenge to the
use of Living Wage contracts in London.
So, to return to an important point. Not only, would the Scottish
Government have a strong case, but it is very hard to imagine the circumstances
in which its case would be tested by a commercial company in court.
It is for these reasons that I am tempted to conclude that there are
other considerations, chiefly financial ones, which are at play here. That’s a
debate we should be prepared to have openly rather than relying on a single and
questionable interpretation of EU law.
The silence from too many MSPs
on the Scottish Living Wage is becoming increasingly hard to accept.The Scottish Government has made important moves
to deliver a Living Wage for directly employed public service workers but has
shown little passion or even curiosity in terms of what might be possible for it to
deliver through the near £10 billion spent annually on public procurement. The Living Wage
is an unusual case wherein a number of Scottish political parties are seemingly
less progressive, or at least less vocal, than their UK counterparts or
It is true to say that the
position of the Scottish Greens and Scottish Labour are both consistent with
those of their UK organisations and the independent MSPs have been stalwart
supporters of a Living Wage. But contrast the relative quietness of the
Scottish Tories with the position of Boris Johnson who loudly champions the
Living Wage whenever the opportunity arises.Or the Scottish Liberals’ reticence whilst Nick Clegg’s calls for a “compulsory
Living Wage for government workers”.
And whilst it’s hardly fair or accurate to describe Plaid
Cymru as the exact Welsh equivalent of the SNP, their leader Leanne Wood has
gone significantly beyond support for a Living Wage for directly employed public
servants and argued for a Procurement Bill in Wales to ensure fair pay for
those employed under government contracts.
Just to recap.The
Scottish Living Wage Campaign, comprising STUC, Poverty Alliance, SCVO, Oxfam,
Scottish churches and public sector unions Unison, Unite, GMB, PCS, along with
a whole host of care sector employers including their umbrella body CCPS, have
all argued that the Scottish Government could and should include within the
Procurement Reform Bill a stipulation that public contracts should pay the Living
Wage.The Scottish Government argues
that it cannot do so, having sought advice from the European Union.
As long as the Bill clearly defines that the purpose of a
Living Wage stipulation is to guarantee human
dignity and provided that the stipulation is specific to the performance
within specific contracts, the Scottish Government would be in strong position
to defend its case.Here is the
amendment to the Procurement Bill we are supporting.
36 In section 8, page 3, line 33, at end insert <, and
( ) the Scottish living wage
39 After section 9, insert—
Scottish living wage
(1) For the purposes of this
Act, the Scottish living wage duty is the duty of a contracting authority to
specify in the contract notice relating to a regulated procurement that it
intends to impose a condition relating to the performance of the contract that
the economic operator who is the successful tenderer must pay the Scottish
(2) An economic operator
pays the Scottish living wage if the remuneration of each of its employees who
undertakes any activities related to the performance of the contract is at
least the Scottish living wage.
(3) The Scottish Ministers
must by regulations define the Scottish living wage for the purposes of this
Act, and may from time to time as they see fit revise such definition.
Just for the avoidance of
doubt.The Greater London Authority which,
under the leadership of Boris Johnson, is currently rolling out the Living Wage
through procurement.It said in February:
bodies can follow clear steps to protect themselves as they procure. To ensure
compliance with European legislation, procurement decisions should be
considered individually, rather than as a blanket policy. Within this context,
the Mayor’s office has rightly been clear that a Living Wage standard in
procurement is legally possible, and this standard is applied within the GLA
group. 75 Some boroughs are confidently pursuing a proactive Living Wage
3.15. Organisations need to seek their own legal
advice when deciding to apply a Living Wage standard to procurement. The
Mayor’s support for Living Wage contracting across the GLA group and
encouragement of Living Wage procurement by others certainly helps to reassure
employers that this is possible.
Just about everyone I have
spoken to agrees nthat there is absolutely no prospect of the use of the Posted
Workers Directive as the basis for a challenge to Living Wage contract
performance clauses.There is also
absolutely no impediment under the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament to
it enacting suitable legislation, nor any suggestion that independence would
make it any easier or harder to pursue.
If it’s good enough for London,
it’s good enough for Scotland, and it’s a time a few more of our MSPs started