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Celtic FC accused of reneging on living wage deal

This news post is over 8 years old

​Celtic FC refuse to become an official Living Wage employer despite paying the rate to all staff

Celtic Football Club has defended itself against allegations it has reneged on a deal to pay the living wage.

Representatives from the Celtic Trust, a charity, say the club agreed to pay the new rate but at the same time withdrew a discretionary bonus system.

But the club has stopped short of becoming a Living Wage Accredited Employer, as administered by the Living Wage foundation, because it does not want an external organisation dictating its salary structure, the trust said.

As promised at its AGM, the football consulted with staff on the new rate and conditions which, it says, 98% of staff were in favour.

Around 180 staff at the Parkhead club are thought to be affected by the deal. Most of these employees work in Celtic’s retail arm.

Accredited Living Wage employers have to complete an accreditation licence and have it approved by the Living Wage Foundation.

It is in fact totally misleading to suggest that this is anything other than a very positive step

The trust said bosses at Celtic told them that the workers are “significantly better off” with the new higher hourly rate than having to rely on a bonus that could not be guaranteed.

The supporters group said it was “penny pinching of the worst kind” and it appeared the club had been “trying desperately” to find ways to do the “absolute minimum”.

However, a Celtic spokesman said the trust’s description of events was inaccurate.

He said: “Our lowest permanent employees are now paid £7.85 per hour, equivalent to the living wage. Some 98% of the colleagues with whom we consulted were in favour of the proposed pay rise and structure because they would be significantly better off with the higher hourly rate, rather than a discretionary bonus that could not be guaranteed.

“We have also met with the Poverty Alliance, who have welcomed the positive steps we have taken. Celtic pays the living wage hourly rate of £7.85 or higher, to all permanent staff.

“It is in fact totally misleading to suggest that this is anything other than a very positive step, overwhelmingly welcomed and supported by affected staff.”

The Celtic Trust is now pushing for new resolution to put to the club’s AGM on 20 November for the board calling for Celtic to become an accredited living wage employer and to provide to shareholders a progress report on this within three months.

Members of the trust say they are concerned that as the club is still not an official living wage employer it is under no obligation to ensure that these employees continue to be paid the Scottish living wage and so the “fight goes on”.

This week it was announced thatthe living wage rate is to increase by 40p to £8.25.

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier previously revealed that the move to increase the wage for permanent staff would cost the club £350,000.

Hearts became the first club in Scotland to pay the living wage earlier this year.



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Ian Smith
over 8 years ago
I can't understand why one medium sized company in a tiny sector employing a relatively small number of people is being focused on here, especially when you say they pay the Living Wage. As the focus from TFN is on football though, can you tell us how many other clubs apart from the one led by the admirable Ms Budge pay the Living Wage? Can you extend your investigation to the 3rd Sector?
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