The living wage foundation UK has accredited Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union for recently becoming a living wage employer.  The Foundation recognises employers that pay a living wage and offers a ‘service provider recognition scheme’, the foundation believes that ‘work should pay’.


The living wage is £7.85 an hour and the employers choose to pay this on a voluntary basis. The introduction of the living wage will have an impact on 5 of the 10 staff members at Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union and will help improve their lives and their families. Pauline Tevarthen, cashier for us at RWCU, added “Receiving a living wage enables me to have a better standard of living. Knowing that the credit union has committed to living wage policy has made me feel more valued as an employee.”


Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan has praised Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union adding, “My congratulations go to Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union for gaining living wage accreditation. As well as being a key partner of the council in our fight against poverty by offering ethical alternatives to payday lenders, the credit union now makes a firm stand against in-work poverty.”




Manager of RWCU Karen Graham said: “We are proud that we are now an accredited living wage employer and that everyone who works at RWCU earns, not only a minimum wage, but a living wage. There are more people today in working families living below the poverty line than those in workless families or retired. This is a shocking statistic and we all have a part to play in ensuring we support working communities as a whole. We are proud to do our part in eradicating poverty, be it through offering ethical affordable credit to our members, or fair pay to our staff.”

There are a number of employers being recognised on the living wage UK website which is great news and at RWCU we are proud to be one of the employers on the website giving our staff fair pay.

For more information visit and you can also visit living wage UK to find out more about the work they do.

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Renfrewshire Tackling Poverty Commission turned its focus to ‘maximising household income’ this week as it continues to build the picture of how more families could be helped out of the poverty cycle.

The recent meeting of the Commission gathered evidence on a range of issues that can impact positively and negatively on a household’s income, including employment, the Living Wage, benefit changes and benefit sanctions.

The Commission was given an update on the positive impact the Invest in Renfrewshire programme is having on unemployment in the area, and Dr Mathew Dutton, from Napier University, presented findings from his research into the Glasgow Living Wage.

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Evidence on the impact of the UK Government’s welfare reforms was presented by Steve Fothergill from Sheffield Hallam University, and Commission member Hanna McCulloch from Child Poverty Action Group, spoke about the impact of benefit sanctions.

Steve Fothergill told the Commission that Renfrewshire is the 9th hardest hit of all 32 Scottish council areas by welfare reform. He said Renfrewshire is being hit harder than the Scottish average and will lose £58m a year as a result of benefit cuts – that’s the equivalent of taking £510 out of the pockets of every working-age adult in the area.

Councillor Mike Holmes, Chair of the Commission, said: “A lot of positive work has been done already to help Renfrewshire’s households work their way out of poverty – but we know we need to build on this. The Invest in Renfrewshire programme to create jobs has been a key part of youth unemployment in Renfrewshire falling to its lowest level in 20 years.

“We also continue to make the case for the Renfrewshire Living Wage of £7.65 to be paid in a bid to drive down in-work poverty and as part of this Renfrewshire Council was able to ensure that 300 external care workers receive the Living Wage.

“But the stark findings we were given about the impact of benefit cuts in Renfrewshire tell us that as we step up our efforts to cut the levels of deprivation that people face – significant amounts of money will continue to be taken away from families as a direct result of UK Government welfare policies. I look forward to all of these valuable findings being taken forward to shape the Commission’s recommendations.”

Hanna McCulloch, Commission Member and Policy Officer from Child Poverty Action Group, added: “We’re unfortunately hearing of more and more cases where benefit sanctions are leaving families without enough money to buy food or pay for electricity and they are often going to local food banks as a result.

“This is a significant area of concern because of the knock-on impact to children whose parents have been sanctioned.”

The final theme to be covered by the Commission as part of its evidence gathering will be ‘minimising household expenditure’. This meeting will take place on Friday 21 November at Engage Renfrewshire, Falcon Crescent, Paisley.

The Commission will then move on to considering the recommendations it will make to the Council and its partners.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Council Leader launches Renfrewshire Living Wage campaign.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan has launched a campaign urging businesses and organisations in Renfrewshire to sign up to the Living Wage.

The Council Leader visited the Phoenix Car Company in Linwood to meet with employers from the private and public sector that have already pledged to pay the Living Wage.

By supporting the campaign, Living Wage employers will receive recognition through the council’s website and be entitled to use the campaign logo across their own publicity activities.

KE Living Wage Week

Earlier this week the UK Living Wage, the amount people need to earn to meet the basic cost of living, was unveiled as £7.65 per hour, significantly higher than the legal minimum wage of £6.31 for over-21s.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The national minimum wage has not kept pace with life here in Renfrewshire. It certainly isn’t sufficient to support a family. We need the help of the business community to make work pay so that employment is always the more affordable option for parents and individuals.

“Renfrewshire’s Living Wage campaign will provide practical local assistance to help employers do the right thing.

“Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for families and good for Renfrewshire. It means that people can work their way out of poverty and it ensures Renfrewshire remains an attractive and prosperous place in which to work or build a future”.

In June this year Renfrewshire Council announced plans to pay an extra £1,000 per post to firms which agree to pay at least the Living Wage, taking the council’s investment in youth employment and Renfrewshire’s economy above the £8 million mark.

Renfrewshire Council pledged its commitment to the Living Wage at the end of 2012, benefiting around 800 council workers. Those who experienced the biggest gains were mostly female part-time workers involved in catering, cleaning and school crossing services.

Last month ahead of the campaign the Council Leader wrote to 150 employers across Renfrewshire to share with them the council’s own experience and inspire them to get behind the campaign. Among the first firms to pledge its support was Phoenix Car Company in Linwood.

Managing Director John McGuire said: “Paying a Living Wage has had a positive effect on productivity because it shows we value our employees.

“Also if you pay people a Living Wage they can afford to contribute to the economy and if people are spending, that’s good for business in the long-run.”

Other Renfrewshire employers who support the Living Wage campaign include Share Scotland, Link Housing, University West of Scotland, West College Scotland, Smith & McLaurin and Ceridian HR & Payroll Services.

Businesses wanting to add their name to the list can find further information on the council website at or contact the Leader’s Office at Renfrewshire House.


Council calls for employers to pay the living wage

Renfrewshire Council is calling on all its suppliers to pay their employees a living wage of at least £7.50 an hour.

In November, 800 council workers saw their pay increase to the level of the living wage and councillors believe that the benefits of this should be extended to the wider work force.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1Councillor Mike Homes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, is a strong advocate of the living wage. “It’s the right thing to do,” he explains. “Pay less than a living wage and you force people onto benefits and lead them to look for work elsewhere. Pay a living wage and research shows that you get a more loyal, productive and flexible workforce.

“At a time when the UK government’s welfare reform will see household incomes shrink and as much as £22million withdrawn from the local economy, we will do everything we can to protect and improve livelihoods in Renfrewshire.

“We’ll work within the legal framework to encourage our suppliers to pay a living wage and we have already included that question in our tender documents.

“Renfrewshire’s residents and workers deserve a fair deal and our businesses need their commitment and flexibility.”

Four out of five people who earn less than £7.20 an hour work in the private sector. Public organisations, such as the council, are taking the lead by ensuring that they pay the living wage.

It is clear though, that if unfeasibly low wages are to be eradicated in Renfrewshire, it will take a combined effort from all sectors of the economy and every part of our community.

Employers and employees can find out more about the campaign for living wages at