Thursday 24 January

Equality

A decade has passed but the women fighting for equal pay at Glasgow City Council have finally won their case with the leader of the Council announcing last week their pay claim will be honoured.

The issue of equal pay in Glasgow goes back decades. However, the specific claims that were settled last week relate to the previous administrations decision in 2006 to create a complex pay structure, which favoured predominantly male roles.

It has taken a change in the council’s administration for the women to have justice delivered.

Glasgow City Council is now entering a new era of pay equality ensuring that the work women do is valued and gender equality is intrinsic to the public agenda.

Vodafone

01.19 vodafone berkeley square

Extremely bad news this week as Vodafone announced restructuring which will see staff at the Berkeley Square offices either relocated to their sites in Manchester or made redundant.

This is a huge blow to the employees at Vodafone in Glasgow and I will continue to make representations to Vodafone urging them to reconsider this decision.

For Vodafone to justify this move by stating it “reinforces our commitment to the UK” clearly highlights the part Scotland plays in the UK – we are simply not regarded to be of any consequence.

Grant Support

01.19 best start grant school ageScotland’s new Best Start Grant School Age payment will open for applications on 3 June.

Regulations have been laid in Parliament, which is the next big step towards introducing the payment which will help the families who need it most with costs associated with the transition to school.

The benefit, to be delivered by Social Security Scotland, will see eligible families receive £250 to help with things such as educational toys and after school activities.

The payment builds on the success of the recently launched Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment.

Further information can be found at mygov.scot/benefits or by calling 0800 182 2222

Widening Access

02-18-widening-access-glasgow-uni.jpgWith Glasgow Kelvin being home to some of our world renowned higher education institutions I very much welcome the latest figures on widening participation.

It shows a record number of full time first degree students at Scottish universities were from the most deprived areas in Scotland last year.

In 2017/18, 15.6% of students entering university were from the 20% most deprived areas. This is 0.4% short of the Government’s target for 2021.

The statistics, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), show the latest progress in the drive to widen access to higher education.

Missing Young People

Two leading charities are joining forces to develop materials to educate children and young people about the dangers of going missing and encourage them to access support.

The Scottish Government has announced that Missing People and Barnardo’s have been jointly awarded £30,000 to develop the new resource in consultation with children and young people and Education Scotland.

The project supports the goals of Scotland’s National Missing Persons Framework, which aims to improve the way agencies and organisations work together to support vulnerable people and help prevent individuals from running away.

You can find out more here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-missing-persons-framework-scotland/

Funeral Payments

01.19 funeral paymentsA new benefit providing help for people on low-incomes to meet the costs of a funeral is on course to be delivered by the Scottish Government through Social Security Scotland by summer 2019.

Funeral Expense Assistance (FEA) will replace the current DWP Funeral Payment in Scotland and improvements mean around 40% more people will be eligible to apply. FEA will provide financial support directly to those who need it most at the point of bereavement. Regulations enabling delivery of this new system have been laid in Parliament today.

As with all Scottish Government benefits, Funeral Expense Assistance has been developed with input from those with experience of the present system – helping identify and address the parts of the DWP application process that people currently find difficult or distressing and improving the process and removing barriers to apply.

Consultations

The Scottish Government are currently consulting on a wide range of issues from reform of parole to job grants for young people. If you would like to contribute to any of the consultations please visit the website here: https://consult.gov.scot/

You might also want to have a look at the consultations currently live with Glasgow City Council, find out more here: https://www.glasgowconsult.co.uk/KMS/dmart.aspx?strTab=PublicDMartCurrent&NoIP=1

Food Poverty

01.19 vegAn additional £500,000 will be awarded to the charity FareShare to step up redistribution of surplus food for people struggling to afford to eat.

The funding, which doubles investment in FareShare over the next two years, will help the charity mitigate against the potential consequences of Brexit on food supply for people in need.

The funding is in addition to the Scottish Government’s £3.5 million Fair Food Fund, established to tackle food insecurity.

 

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