Poverty charity is latest to become living wage employer

Web ewan aitken

All 110 Cyrenians staff will be paid at least £7.85 per hour 

Paul Cardwell's photo

20th May 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Poverty charity Cyrenians has become the latest third sector organisation to be awarded living wage status.

All 110 staff will now be paid a minimum of £7.85 per hour.

Cyrenians were able to finally achieve Living Wage status by moving a Community Jobs Scotland trainee and a Youth Employment Scotland trainee into employment directly with Cyrenians.

Chief executive Ewan Aitken said: “We are delighted to have achieved living wage accreditation and to put our shoulder to this vital anti-poverty campaign.

“As part of our employability work, we have helped over 500 people into jobs this year so we know the difficulties that low wage economy causes.

“This achievement is a sign of our commitment to live out what we want our many partner employers to do also.”

The reality that poverty is a symptom of a broken system and not a lifestyle choice as some would have us believe

Last year, Cyrenians supported 4300 vulnerable people with a wide range of needs and circumstances through one or more of its 12 services.

It delivers services in seven local authority areas as well as providing training across the country through its Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution.

The living wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, currently set at £7.85 per hour. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and recognises employers for paying their staff a fair, decent wage.

Aitken continued: “We know that austerity politics is going to bite even harder and those in poverty will continue to get the blame.

“The living wage is one way of helping people out of poverty whilst challenging the many myths perpetrated by those who want to deny the reality that poverty is a symptom of a broken system and not a lifestyle choice as some would have us believe.”

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance which administers the living wage in Scotland, added: “Cyrenians has shown fantastic leadership in becoming a living wage employer.

“The continual rise of in-work poverty in Scotland is an issue that needs to be addressed as a priority. 

“The response requires cooperation from private, public and third sector employers. 

“The fastest way to tackle in-work poverty is to curtail the acceptance of the minimum wage and put an onus on paying the living wage.”