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Colleges move to implement increased Real Living Wage of £12 per hour

College staff are benefitting from a Real Living Wage of £12 per hour after employers decided to implement the new rate six months ahead of a national deadline, and to coincide with Living Wage Week (6-12 November).

The increase from £10.90 per hour last year will be applied to all eligible college employees and also covers Modern Apprentices.

Officially, employers have until 1 May 2024 to implement the change. However, 21 colleges that are signatories to the National Recognition and Procedures Agreement (NRPA) agreed to apply it at the start of this month, providing a significant and timely income boost amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Scotland’s colleges have a longstanding commitment to the Real Living Wage, with all NRPA signatory colleges achieving Living Wage accreditation by the end of October 2021.

Gavin Donoghue, Director of College Employers Scotland, the body which represents colleges as employers, said: “I’m delighted that colleges have been able to move so speedily to apply the latest increase in the Real Living Wage. This will provide real and sustained support to many of our lower-paid staff during these challenging times.

“College staff are a vital resource, and their welfare is integral to the success of the college sector. Rapid implementation of the latest Real Living Wage increase – up 10 per cent on last year – is testament to employers’ determination to invest in employees, ensuring students receive the world-class learning experience they deserve.”


Notes to Editors: 

The Real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay which is set independently and updated annually, in accordance with the basic cost of living in the United Kingdom. It is voluntarily paid by employers.

The National Recognition and Procedures Agreement (NRPA) defines the remit, scope, operating arrangements and proposed authority for the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC) which is established to jointly agree terms on issues of employment between Scotland’s colleges (College Employers Scotland) and trade unions (EIS-FELA, GMB, UNISON and UNITE): 

College Employers Scotland is the body through which the Scottish Government’s Policy of National Bargaining is delivered and implemented. The arrangement enables college employers to work collectively and in partnership with trade unions, the Scottish Funding Council, and the Scottish Government. 

Living Wage Scotland is hosted by The Poverty Alliance. Further details are available at Living Wage Scotland - The Poverty Alliance.

 The 21 colleges that are signatories to the NRPA are: Argyll College UHI, Ayrshire College, Borders College, City of Glasgow College, Dumfries and Galloway College, Dundee and Angus College, Edinburgh College, Fife College, Forth Valley College, Glasgow Clyde College, Glasgow Kelvin College, North, West and Hebrides College UHI, Moray College UHI, Newbattle Abbey College, New College Lanarkshire, North East Scotland College, Perth College UHI, Inverness College UHI, South Lanarkshire College, West College Scotland, and West Lothian College.

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