Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Glasgow - 'Fighting vs Marching' Over Equal Pay



The good news is that there's no big news to report today, so the marathon equal pay settlement talks with Glasgow City Council have not yet broken down - we're still 'marching' and not 'fighting', as they say!

Whether this will continue for very long into the New Year is anyone's guess though, I have to say, I have my doubts since  the differences between the two sides must be significant instead of just being about tying up a couple of 'loose ends', as Annemarie O'Donnell implied in her latest 'Council Family' email.

No-one is saying what the sticking points are which is understandable because it's been a very long year, everyone is tired, nerves and tempers are frayed - and there seems to be no point in riling things up just before Christmas.

So a further round of meetings is being arranged for the early part of January 2019 in an effort to see if these differences can be overcome, even though the Council Leader promised things would all be wrapped up before Christmas 2018.

Now this is worth trying if you ask me, because if negotiations do break down again, the only alternatives are going back to the Employment Tribunals (a process that  is already underway) and potentially more industrial action which is, of course, a matter for the trade unions.

The Claimants Side is clear about what they want - they want a settlement based on the pay and pensions people have lost for the past 12 years (and counting) of working under the 'unfit for purpose' WPBR. 

What they don't want - and what they're not prepared to accept - is a settlement based on what the Council 'says' it can afford along with a whole load of strings attached.

The Council seems to be back-pedalling on its previous commitment to ensure that low paid workers get the compensation they are 'due', but maybe a break over Christmas and the New Year will do everyone a bit of good and encourage the Council Side to reflect on where we go from here.

I hope so because unless something gives soon, I suspect we'll be 'fighting' again rather than 'marching' in 2019. 


 

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Glasgow - Crunch Day Over Equal Pay



Today is a big day in the fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council because it's the last settlement meeting of 2018 after many months of talks.

The pace of things has certainly speed up over the past six weeks or so, in the wake of Glasgow's historic equal pay strike (in October) and the prospect of all the outstanding claims heading back to the Employment Tribunals.

But the Council has still not come forward with realistic proposals capable of ending this long running dispute which is odd because the Council leaders have promised time and again that a final agreement would be reached before Christmas. 

The last time the workforce was in this position (in the final weeks of 2005) the Council put forward settlement proposals which feel far short of the true value of people's claims - while excluding large numbers or workers from receiving any settlement altogether.

In effect, thousands of low paid workers had the wool pulled over their eyes - they were duped and bullied out of their rights to equal pay by a Labour-led Council, yes a Labour-led Council.

So the big question is whether Glasgow's SNP-led Council is going to behave the same way or will this new Council back a settlement based on the pay and pension claimants have lost over 12 years (and counting) of the 'unfit for purpose' WPBR?

If not, thousands of cases will all be referred back to the Employment Tribunals where the Council will have to explain how it can credibly defend its pay arrangements  when even the Council Leader agrees the WPBR is  discriminatory. 

A big day all round - so watch this space.


  

'Good Faith' vs Council Duplicity (03/12/18)



Action 4 Equality Scotland (A4ES) arrived with a bang in August 2005 and began its task of explaining to low paid, predominantly female, council workers that they were being cheated out of their rights to equal pay.

At first, Glasgow City Council (GCC) denied it had any equal pay problem, yet within months the Council was making 'low ball' offers of settlement to buy-out their employees' claims.

In the run-up to Christmas 2005 large groups of workers were invited to attend 'signing' meetings with senior council managers and supposedly independent lawyers, hand-picked and paid for by GCC.

Workers who signed the 'deal' and gave up their right to take their claim to an Employment Tribunals were given a cash buy-out worth a maximum of £9,000 although many groups  (e.g. clerical staff, child development officers, special needs drivers, janitors etc) were left out altogether, despite having perfectly valid equal pay claims.

At the time, the Council pretended that these 'buy out' offers were really generous, that anyone taking their claim to an Employment Tribunal was taking an enormous risk and that if the workers were 'too greedy' with their demands, the Council could even go bankrupt!

Now this was all scaremongering nonsense, of course, and those who refused to be bullied or intimidated by these tactics, and pursued an equal pay claim with A4ES went on to achieve substantially better financial settlements, albeit after a battle in the Employment Tribunals.  

Yet it now turns out that senior officials knew perfectly well the Council was duping its lowest paid workers out of hundreds of millions of pounds back in 2005, thanks to the following document which has recently come into my possession.

An 'Equal Pay Comparator job analysis' document prepared by external consultants (Link HR Systems) and dated 19 October 2005 states at Page 8:

"The analysis presents a 'worse case scenario' where the highest possible male comparator is used for Equal Pay assessment. The analysis illustrates an annual pay gap of approximately £70 million. On an anticipated 5 years' backdating the potential risk escalates to approximately £351 million"

Except it is quite wrong to say that £351 million was the true extent of the Council's equal pay 'bill' because this figure took no account of overtime hours worked (+20%), other pay enhancements (+20%), interest payments over 5 years (+20%), employer pension contributions (+19%) and those groups of workers who were left out of the calculations (mentioned above) despite having perfectly valid claims (+20%).

So multiplying £351 million by 99% (20% + 20% + 20% + 19% + 20%) equals a grand total of £698 million which is what the Council should have paid in compensation to its workforce before replacing the discriminatory (i.e. pre-WPBR) pay arrangements which had created the problem in the first place.

Instead the Council actually paid out just £24 million in compensation payments although this figure does not include the settlements reached on behalf of A4ES clients, who were a small minority of the total at the time.

But anyway you slice and dice the figures the Council cheated the bulk of its workforce out of something in the region of £650+ million - before adding even more insult to injury by introducing a new WPBR pay scheme in January 2007 which was later condemned (in 2017) as 'unfit for purpose' by Scotland's highest civil court, the Court of Session. 

As regular readers know, senior officials claim that they acted in 'good faith' over the WPBR and that the aim of the scheme was to eliminate gender-based pay discrimination which is one hell of a stretch, if you ask me, especially as the Council is still refusing to make open up its WPBR records and files.

I'm sure the 'Equal Pay Comparator job analysis' paper is just one of the WPBR documents that senior officials in Glasgow would prefer to keep hidden from public view, but the cat's well and truly out of the bag now! 

Even now, all these years later, no one has apologised for the Council's behaviour which, in my view, amounts to a serious failure of leadership on the part of the senior officials and Glasgow's elected politicians.  


 



Coming Soon - Evidence of Duplicity! (02/12/18)



A kind person has sent me a very interesting document which has to do with Glasgow City Council's estimated liability over equal pay.

Now the document isn't concerned with 2018 - instead it focuses on the last occasion when the Council offered to 'buy out' its workers equal pay claims with 'low ball' offers of settlement in the run-up to Christmas 2005.

Interestingly, the calculations were prepared by the same external consultants who developed the WPBR for the City Council.

Regular readers will recall that the Council's chief executive, Annemarie O'Donnell, claims that senior officials have always acted in 'good faith' over the WPBR and that their aim was to eliminate gender based pay discrimination with the introduction of this controversial pay scheme.

Regular readers also know the Council is refusing to release vital information about the WPBR which would prove or disprove this 'good faith' claim in double quick time.

Anyway, the document I have acquired about Glasgow's equal pay liabilities back in 2005 is explosive because the figures confirm that the Council 'robbed' thousands of low paid workers of hundreds of millions of pounds with derisory offers of settlement which were 'capped' at just £9,000.

So tune in again tomorrow and decide for yourself, but after reading these figures I suspect many of the Claimants will be 'fit to be tied up', as they say.

And many thanks to the public-spirited individual who sent me the document - the truth will out and I suspect this is just one of the many crucial WPBR documents the Council is refusing to release in response to my FoI Requests.

Who knows, maybe some of the Council's political leaders will start to take a real interest in these matters and help shine a light on what senior officials have been upped to all these years with their 'unfit for purpose' WPBR pay scheme.

Because I'll eat my hat if this information was shared with elected members and/or properly reported to the relevant  Council Committees at the time. 

 

Glasgow - Breaking News! (21/12/17)


Great news in the fight for equal pay in Glasgow!

The Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, has just thrown out Glasgow City Council's application for leave to appeal the landmark WPBR decision to the UK Supreme Court.

The judges went into a brief 'huddle' after considering submissions from both sides, but then proceeded to dismiss every one of the City Council's grounds of appeal.

Well done to the legal teams from A4ES and Unison whose hard work behind the scenes helped to demolish the City Council's case - which was very poor even if I say so myself.

I'll have more to say soon - so watch this space.

  

Glasgow's Fight for Equal Pay



This week marks the anniversary of the Court of Session's decision to reject an appeal from Glasgow City Council which sought to overturn an earlier judgement condemning the Council's WPBR pay scheme as 'unfit for purpose'. 

The actual hearing took place on Friday 22 December 2017 and it was a truly wonderful day because three senior judges delivered reaffirmed their 'unfit for purpose' judgement from August 2017 - with yet another unanimous decision in Scotland's highest civil court.

A landmark day in the fight for equal pay and while the Court's decision came as no surprise what has never been explained is how the Council came to launch this appeal in the first place.

Because if, as Council Leader Susan Aitken insists, senior officials always act under 'political direction' then who authorised this further appeal to the Court of Session which set the settlement process back on its heels for another four months.    

I have no doubt either that if the decision had gone the other way, the Council would have tried to use this to their advantage in subsequent settlement negotiations and continued with their stubborn defence of the WPBR. 

The Claimants face a similar situation now, as settlement talks continue into 2019, because the Council has made clear its willingness to defend the WPBR and its 37 hour 'rule', if negotiations break down and all the cases head back to the Employment Tribunals in February and April 2019.

If this does happen, the SNP-led Council will be in the ludicrous position of defending a discredited WPBR pay scheme which senior councillors have already admitted is 'completely discriminatory'. 

Make sense of that if you will, but it seems an untenable position to me because the SNP has been slagging the Labour Party off (and rightly so) over its handling of equal pay for years - and has been using the WPBR as a stick to bash Labour over the head (understandably as well).

So if you ask me, SNP-led Glasgow defending the WPBR at the Employment Tribunals makes about as much sense as SNP-led Glasgow trying to overturn a landmark decision from Scottish highest civil court - by seeking support from the UK Supreme Court in London. 

  


Glasgow - Readers' Comments (14/12/17)


More readers' comments about the prospect of the City Council proceeding with an appeal to try and overturn the unanimous decision of Scotland's highest civil court, the Court of Session, that Glasgow's WPBR pay scheme is 'unfit for purpose'

Susan Aitken get you finger out your ass and get us paid out we have waited long enough now No more empty promises!

F



Anyone can make fabulous speeches and talk a good game but when their actions do not match up with what they say then I do not believe in the person. Appealing is an action and that is the real intention as it is the only real thing happening.

T


If an SNP led council appeal to the UK court then the SNP will be rediculed and can hardly continue to seek independence. If they can not accept a Scottish court's decision then they proved they still need London.

T

I'm sure this issue is going to return with a vengeance in the New Year when the City Council will have to make its position clear.

  


Glasgow - Readers' Comments (13/12/17)


A reader from Glasgow commented on yesterday's post about the big decision facing the City Council over a potential appeal to the UK Supreme Court. 

Let me get this.The SNP said they would have this dealt with quickly, now we have the SNP led Glasgow City Council seeking leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. 


This is the independence screaming Scottish government now using the UK laws to get out of paying their employees the money they are due because the Scottish supreme courts laws aren't good enough.

Double standards me thinks. 

The magic roundabout is about to start.

ALL ABOARD!

L

Now the reader makes a fair point if you ask me, because it would look extremely strange politically if the SNP-led City Council were to ask a UK court to overturn the   unanimous decision of Scotland's highest civil court.

Especially when it doesn't take a legal genius to understand that Glasgow's discredited WPBR pay scheme set out to favour traditional male jobs at the expense of lower paid female dominated jobs done by carers, cooks, catering staff, cleaners, clerical workers, classroom assistants and so on. 

And it would look even more strange if Glasgow's eight MSPs (all SNP of course) were not standing up and speaking out loudly and clearly in support of their local constituents.  


  


Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (12/12/17)


Equal pay settlement discussions with Glasgow City Council seem to be picking up speed after a slow and unpromising start.  

See the "Breaking News' post below and the update from Stefan Cross QC. 

    Now it's early days yet and no agreement has been reached on any of the big issues, but the 'mood music' appears to have changed which is good news if you ask me, so long as the claimants start to see some real results in the New Year.

    In my view, the biggest issue of all is the GCC's application to appeal the Court of Session's WPBR decision to the UK Supreme Court because this has the potential to delay things and kick the settlement process into the long grass.

    Now I can't see this happening because the Leader of the Council, Susan Aitken, has repeatedly said that the SNP-led administration has no intention of pursuing the case to the UK Supreme Court - even though GCC is asking the Court of Session for 'leave to appeal'.

    A major reason for GCC not pursuing an appeal to UK Supreme Court in London is that the WPBR is now completely discredited, after being roundly roundly criticised by three senior judges in the Court of Session who unanimously decided that Glasgow's pay arrangements  are 'unfit for purpose'.   

    Another important reason is that the SNP would surely pay a very heavy price in terms of its political reputation, if the party were to run off down to London to try and overturn a decision from Scotland's highest civil court - when all eight of Glasgow's Holyrood MSPs are SNP supporters including the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

    How would that make the SNP and the Scottish Government look in the eyes of Glasgow council workers and voters, given the justice of the claimants' case and its powerful backing from the Court of Session?

    A third big reason for Glasgow to ditch the UK Supreme Court is the cost to the City Council because the ultimate bill will increase hugely, if the council 'bets the house' again and loses a further appeal - on the advice of officials and advisers who have been defending the indefensible over equal pay for the past 10 years.

    So it's all to play for as they say and next week sees another important diary date with Glasgow 'leave to appeal' petition being heard by another panel of judges in the Court of Session. 

     

    Monday, 17 December 2018

    Glasgow's Fight for Equal Pay



    This week marks the anniversary of the Court of Session's decision to reject an appeal from Glasgow City Council which sought to overturn an earlier judgement condemning the Council's WPBR pay scheme as 'unfit for purpose'. 

    The actual hearing took place on Friday 22 December 2017 and it was a truly wonderful day because three senior judges delivered reaffirmed their 'unfit for purpose' judgement from August 2017 - with yet another unanimous decision in Scotland's highest civil court.

    A landmark day in the fight for equal pay and while the Court's decision came as no surprise what has never been explained is how the Council came to launch this appeal in the first place.

    Because if, as Council Leader Susan Aitken insists, senior officials always act under 'political direction' then who authorised this further appeal to the Court of Session which set the settlement process back on its heels for another four months.    

    I have no doubt either that if the decision had gone the other way, the Council would have tried to use this to their advantage in subsequent settlement negotiations and continued with their stubborn defence of the WPBR. 

    The Claimants face a similar situation now, as settlement talks continue into 2019, because the Council has made clear its willingness to defend the WPBR and its 37 hour 'rule', if negotiations break down and all the cases head back to the Employment Tribunals in February and April 2019.

    If this does happen, the SNP-led Council will be in the ludicrous position of defending a discredited WPBR pay scheme which senior councillors have already admitted is 'completely discriminatory'. 

    Make sense of that if you will, but it seems an untenable position to me because the SNP has been slagging the Labour Party off (and rightly so) over its handling of equal pay for years - and has been using the WPBR as a stick to bash Labour over the head (understandably as well).

    So if you ask me, SNP-led Glasgow defending the WPBR at the Employment Tribunals makes about as much sense as SNP-led Glasgow trying to overturn a landmark decision from Scottish highest civil court - by seeking support from the UK Supreme Court in London. 

      


    Glasgow - Readers' Comments (14/12/17)


    More readers' comments about the prospect of the City Council proceeding with an appeal to try and overturn the unanimous decision of Scotland's highest civil court, the Court of Session, that Glasgow's WPBR pay scheme is 'unfit for purpose'

    Susan Aitken get you finger out your ass and get us paid out we have waited long enough now No more empty promises!

    F



    Anyone can make fabulous speeches and talk a good game but when their actions do not match up with what they say then I do not believe in the person. Appealing is an action and that is the real intention as it is the only real thing happening.

    T


    If an SNP led council appeal to the UK court then the SNP will be rediculed and can hardly continue to seek independence. If they can not accept a Scottish court's decision then they proved they still need London.

    T

    I'm sure this issue is going to return with a vengeance in the New Year when the City Council will have to make its position clear.

      


    Glasgow - Readers' Comments (13/12/17)


    A reader from Glasgow commented on yesterday's post about the big decision facing the City Council over a potential appeal to the UK Supreme Court. 

    Let me get this.The SNP said they would have this dealt with quickly, now we have the SNP led Glasgow City Council seeking leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. 


    This is the independence screaming Scottish government now using the UK laws to get out of paying their employees the money they are due because the Scottish supreme courts laws aren't good enough.

    Double standards me thinks. 

    The magic roundabout is about to start.

    ALL ABOARD!

    L

    Now the reader makes a fair point if you ask me, because it would look extremely strange politically if the SNP-led City Council were to ask a UK court to overturn the   unanimous decision of Scotland's highest civil court.

    Especially when it doesn't take a legal genius to understand that Glasgow's discredited WPBR pay scheme set out to favour traditional male jobs at the expense of lower paid female dominated jobs done by carers, cooks, catering staff, cleaners, clerical workers, classroom assistants and so on. 

    And it would look even more strange if Glasgow's eight MSPs (all SNP of course) were not standing up and speaking out loudly and clearly in support of their local constituents.  


      


    Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (12/12/17)


    Equal pay settlement discussions with Glasgow City Council seem to be picking up speed after a slow and unpromising start.  

    See the "Breaking News' post below and the update from Stefan Cross QC. 

      Now it's early days yet and no agreement has been reached on any of the big issues, but the 'mood music' appears to have changed which is good news if you ask me, so long as the claimants start to see some real results in the New Year.

      In my view, the biggest issue of all is the GCC's application to appeal the Court of Session's WPBR decision to the UK Supreme Court because this has the potential to delay things and kick the settlement process into the long grass.

      Now I can't see this happening because the Leader of the Council, Susan Aitken, has repeatedly said that the SNP-led administration has no intention of pursuing the case to the UK Supreme Court - even though GCC is asking the Court of Session for 'leave to appeal'.

      A major reason for GCC not pursuing an appeal to UK Supreme Court in London is that the WPBR is now completely discredited, after being roundly roundly criticised by three senior judges in the Court of Session who unanimously decided that Glasgow's pay arrangements  are 'unfit for purpose'.   

      Another important reason is that the SNP would surely pay a very heavy price in terms of its political reputation, if the party were to run off down to London to try and overturn a decision from Scotland's highest civil court - when all eight of Glasgow's Holyrood MSPs are SNP supporters including the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

      How would that make the SNP and the Scottish Government look in the eyes of Glasgow council workers and voters, given the justice of the claimants' case and its powerful backing from the Court of Session?

      A third big reason for Glasgow to ditch the UK Supreme Court is the cost to the City Council because the ultimate bill will increase hugely, if the council 'bets the house' again and loses a further appeal - on the advice of officials and advisers who have been defending the indefensible over equal pay for the past 10 years.

      So it's all to play for as they say and next week sees another important diary date with Glasgow 'leave to appeal' petition being heard by another panel of judges in the Court of Session. 

       

      Riddle Me This, Glasgow? (16/11/18)



      Here's another puzzler for The Riddler:

      "If senior officials in Glasgow always act under the direction of the Council's political leaders, who is authorising GCC's negotiators to say that the Council is prepared to fight 'every single issue' at Employment Tribunal?"

      Because this surely amounts to a willingness to defend the WPBR even though senior Glasgow politicians are on record as agreeing that GCC's pay arrangements are 'unfit for purpose' since they discriminate against the Council's largely female workforce.

      Not just that, of course, the Council's would also be going back on its word to have a settlement in place before the end of 2018. 

        

      Glasgow - In Denial (04/11/18)



      I'm generally an optimist when it comes to complex and difficult negotiations - my motto over the years has always been 'Where there's a will there's a way'.

      But I would just like to add something to Stefan's update on the ongoing settlement talks with Glasgow City Council.

      The threat made by senior officials to 'fight every single issue they can in tribunal' if negotiations fail, is proof positive that the legal battle with Glasgow City Council has not ended - despite what some politicians claim.

      In other words, senior officials are still prepared to defend the 'unfit for purpose' WPBR and this must include the infamous 37 hour rule which was clearly designed to discriminate against the Council's largely female workforce.

      Beggars belief, if you ask me, so let's hope the Council comes to its senses before its too late!  


       


      WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

      Someone asked what am I expecting from the meetings. This was my answer. I hope it helps and is clear. But as always comments read with interest.

      The outcome should be a “scheme” to calculate offers we can recommend to cover the period up to March 18. (although that could be a negotiating issue. They might suggest an earlier date)

      This scheme can then get political approval
      Then finance
      Then offers
      Then payment (no sooner than April)
      Then new JES plus pay and grading (likeliest 2021)

      The council often talk about a “number”or “offer” by December but that’s not realistic because they need to verify 13600 files involving well over 30000 contracts.

      If no agreement is reached then we will report back why we’ve not succeeded and the members can decide what to do. It might be that The Leader may need to intervene.

      We will carry on preparing for the tribunal hearings listed in February plus spring and summer.

      If that happens the officers have told us that they will seek to prevent even the protection period going to remedy and will fight every single issue they can in tribunal. We presume they got political permission to make that threat. Doesn’t scare me but does show our continued problem with officers.

      I imagine there might be a little unrest.

      But I sincerely hope the council sees sense and delivers


      Stefan Cross

      Riddle Me This Glasgow? (23/10/18)


      I couldn't sleep last night as I tossed and turned trying to find an answer to the following question:

      "If senior officials in Glasgow City Council have always acted under the direction of the Council's political leaders, then who authorised GCC's chief executive (Annemarie O'Donnell) to take legal action and seek leave to appeal the landmark 'unfit for purpose' WPBR judgment of the Court of Session?"

      Now this action resulted in months of delay between the original judgment in August 2017 and the subsequent 'leave to appeal' hearing in December 2017 which Glasgow City Council lost again - by another unanimous decision in Scotland's highest civil court.

      So who insisted on this course of action - senior officials in GCC or the political leadership of the Council?

      I think we should be told - in the interests of openness and transparency.

        

      Riddle me this, Glasgow? (01/09/18)



      I posed this 'riddle' back in May 2018 when Glasgow City Council first came under real pressure for dragging its feet over equal pay settlement settlement negotiations with A4ES, GMB and Unison.

      Four months on and the situation hasn't changed, in fact things have got worse because another four months have gone by and not a single thing of substance has been agreed.

      The proof of the pudding is that serious negotiations over the Pay Gap and Male Comparator Jobs have still to get off the ground.

      So I say again to the Council bosses and bigwigs:

      "If equal pay settlement 'negotiations' with Glasgow City Council are making such good progress, why are the trade unions (GMB and Unison) balloting their members on industrial action?"

        

      Riddle me this, Glasgow? (11/05/18)



      Ask yourself this question, Glasgow - then answer it as honestly as you can.

      "If equal pay settlement negotiations with the City Council are making such good progress, why do the trade unions (Unison and GMB) think it necessary to consult their members on industrial action?"

       
       

      Get Serious, Glasgow! (03/05/18)


      Lots of readers have been in touch with comments and questions about the industrial action ballots in support of the fight with Glasgow City Council for equal pay - here's what Stefan and I had to say on Facebook.

      Hi Mark

      What is the opinion of A4ES on the Strike Ballot papers issued to all Unison members. 

      Would striking be recommended by yourselves?

      J

      Hi J

      It's a consultative ballot rather than an official strike ballot, at this stage, and the purpose is to test the level of support for taking industrial action, if the City Council continues to drag its feet over settlement negotiations and replacing WPBR. 

      So I would certainly encourage people to vote Yes!

      Because by doing so they will send a strong message to the Council to 'get its finger out'! 

      Mark Irvine


      Hi Mark 

      That's exactly my thoughts as well. So fed up with the council and their delaying tactics and not progressing with the actual settlement negotiations. 

      Thanks for the clarification. 

      J

      HELL YES!

      several folk have asked how I would vote in the ballot.

      Easy - YES!

      why? :

      1 time to stand up and be counted

      2 it has already made the council sit up and take notice. The threat of an imposed interim payment has been taken off the agenda for the moment and the council are finally looking at our proposals seriously

      3 the council read out a prepared statement objecting - I will cover this when I have exact wording. Your industrial and political weight is making all the difference. We need to keep this up

      4 a consultative ballot commits us to nothing but shows we’re serious. There’s a long way to go to an actual strike. This is just the first essential step.

      5. The council literally laughed at suggestion they will produce counter proposal by 22nd. There is still no sense of urgency from the officers. They need to get serious. The ballot will help.

      Your biggest weapon is your solidarity. 

      Keep it up.

      Stefan Cross