Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Sunday, 8 March 2009

Council announces 7 minimum wage

Scottish banknotes
The council hopes the move will improve thousands of families' lives

Workers at Scotland's biggest local authority, Glasgow City Council, will be paid a new minimum wage of 7 an hour in a drive to tackle low pay.

Council leader Steven Purcell said the move would boost the wage packets of the lowest paid staff by more than 1,100 a year.

He issued a challenge to other employers to do the same.

The 7 Glasgow rate will come into force on 1 April - ten years since the national minimum wage was introduced.

In a speech to the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee, Mr Purcell said it was vital for Labour to address low-paid work, which he said was not enough to lift the "plight of poverty".

"There are up to 80,000 workers in Glasgow earning less than 7 an hour and this has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of families across our city," he said of the council initiative.

'Women to benefit'

Mr Purcell said Glasgow City Council contractors would be strongly encouraged to implement the rate.

He went on: "Low pay discriminates against women more than men and I'm pleased to confirm that the vast majority of staff who will benefit from this new rate of 7 an hour are, in fact, women."

The minimum wage for employees over 21 increased by 3.8% in October to 5.73 per hour.

It is 4.77 for workers aged between 18-21 and 3.53 for staff aged 16-17.

Mr Purcell told the conference: "We in the Labour Party are rightly proud of the introduction of the national minimum wage, in the face of fierce opposition from the Tories."

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