Most (but not all) councils in Scotland have by now carried out a Job Evaluation (JE) exercise - which is what they were supposed to do almost 8 years ago, as part of the 1999 Single Status Agreement. Done properly, this JE exercise would have taken at least a couple of years at least and the results backdated.
But, as people now realise, the employers and the trade unions sat on their backsides until Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross came along!
However, many of the council have gone for a very cheap and cheerful version of what job evaluation is really all about - and have done it all in such a hurry that no one can have confidence in the outcomes.
Some of the major concerns are:
1 Jobs have not been evaluated individually
2 Jobs have been evaluated in large and artificial groups
3 Information has been deliberately withheld - for example the scores of all the jobs
4 Traditional male (bonus earning) jobs have been scored more favourably
5 The process has been based on secrecy and dodgy deals - not openness and transparency
6 The outcomes have not been agreed with staff or the trade unions
7 New grading structures are being imposed - even after clear NO votes from union members
If you have registered an equal pay claim you have protected your position - by taking a claim to the Employment Tribunals you are preventing the council from becoming judge and jury in its own cause - and that's what scares them because they have to answer for their actions.
Meantime, people should use the local appeals process to expose just how badly the councils have behaved - this may not overturn the initial decision (within the council), but it will provide valuable information to help with your Employment Tribunal case.
If you are in a trade union, you should insist that the union provides you with advice and support in relation to local appeals. Paying union dues means that you are absolutely entitled to the union's help in any local dealings with the council.
If the unions fail to give members advice and support, they will leave themselves open to further legal claims - so don't be put off by local officials and insist that the union does its job on your behalf!
We have issued detailed advice on appeals to clients in Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and Falkirk - and this information can be adapted for other areas as required