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Fife College Celebrates Living Wage Commitment

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education and Higher Education and Science, visited Fife College on Tuesday 7 November to mark Living Wage Week.
Angie Cruickshank, Fife College; Carol Scott, Vice Principal Fife College; Alan O’Donnell, Fife College, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP; Jen Anderson Student President; Silvia Baduskova Fife College; Lynn Anderson Living Wage.

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, visited Fife College on Tuesday 7 November to mark Living Wage Week  - Sunday 5th to 11th November and celebrate the College’s recent accreditation as a Living Wage employer.

Carol Scott, Vice Principal of Fife College, was delighted to welcome the Minister to the College’s Halbeath Campus in Dunfermline to meet staff and students and find out more about how their recent accreditation and commitment to being a Living Wage employer is benefitting staff and students.

The visit, which was organised in partnership with Poverty Alliance who manage the Living Wage accreditation, enabled the Minister to chat to staff involved in securing Fife College’s accreditation and to staff such as Silvia Baduskova who have personally benefitted from an increase in salary thanks to the Living Wage.  The Minister also spoke with Jen Anderson, Student President at Fife College, to find out more about the benefits to students.

The Living Wage accreditation recognises that the College’s commitment to fair pay sees everyone working at Fife College, receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.75. This rate is significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £7.50 per hour introduced in April 2017.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually and is calculated according to the real costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis and it enjoys cross-party political support.

The Minister was pleased to visit Fife College and said:

“I am very pleased to visit Fife College to mark Living Wage Week. Living Wage accreditation is not only a fantastic investment in people, but it also has benefits for employers, having been shown to increase productivity and reduce staff absence.

“Scotland punches above its weight in terms of the Living Wage, with well over a quarter all UK accreditations. This week is a fantastic opportunity for me and my colleagues in the Scottish Government to promote the benefits of the Living Wage to even more organisations right around the country.”

Hugh Hall, Principal of Fife College, is committed to the Living Wage initiative and said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister, Shirley-Anne Somerville, to Fife College as part of Living Wage Week and to share with her our own positive experiences about the scheme.

“At Fife College we are keen to ensure that our staff and anyone working for us are treated well and paid fairly for the job they do which makes them feel valued and respected. The real Living Wage reflects this and sets an example to other organisations so that hopefully they too will become accredited which in turn will enhance lives and also help to improve the Scottish economy.

“Many of our students work part-time while studying and may have suffered due to low pay. We hope to show a good example not just to organisations outside the College but also to our students, many of whom will be the employers of tomorrow.”

Jen Anderson, Student President at Fife College said:

“We are really pleased that Fife College has taken this stance and opted to support the real Living Wage and mark Living Wage Week. It shows great commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of both our students and our staff which benefits all!”

Alan O’Donnell, UNISON Workplace Representative at Fife College, added: “Our staff work in many different roles and all contribute to a successful and accessible college. UNISON is delighted that Fife College has achieved Living Wage Accreditation which should help ensure a better deal for some of the lowest paid and hardest working people in our organisation.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:

“I am delighted to welcome Fife College to the Living Wage Employer movement in Scotland. The real Living Wage is one of the most effective means we have of tackling in-work poverty, and Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer.

“With more than half of children in poverty in Scotland living in a household where someone works, paying a real Living Wage that reflects the cost of living has never been more important.

“I congratulate Fife College on their accreditation as a Living Wage Employer and I hope more organisations in Scotland will follow their lead by getting in touch with us.”

For further details about current vacancies or courses at Fife College visit www.fife.ac.uk. For more information about the Scottish Living Wage visit www.scottishlivingwage.org

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP chats to Silvia Baduskova
 
 
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