Monday, 23 August 2010

Midlothian Council

Midlothian is another council where one of the local MSPs is getting involved - and is asking questions about equal pay.

Jeremy Purvis - a Liberal Democract MSP - has been contacted by some of the school meals workers - who are understandably fed up with Midlothian's shenanigans.

Again Midlothian Council asked the Scottish government to borrow extra funds to meet the back pay costs of equal pay - and was allocated £9.1 million by Scottish ministers.

But ever since the council has been dragging its feet - blowing hot and cold in settlement discussions - then trying to move the goal posts at the last minute.

In fact, Midlothian Council have behaved like this consistently - for years they refused to engage with Action 4 Equality Scotland to try and settle these matters on a fair basis.

In both 2008 and 2009 they made offers direct to clients - but refused to discuss the details - and tried to bounce people into accepting low offers of settlement.

Serious settlement discussions finally got underway earlier in 2010 - but out of the blue the council changed the terms on offer and required the claimants to give up part of their claim for nothing.

But why should people be bought out on the cheap?

The ball is now in the council's court - but their behaviour suggest this is a deliberate tactic to try and encourage their employees, once again, to settle on inferior terms.

So, unless the council comes to its senses - these issues will all have to go back to the Employment Tribunals - with the council having a lot of explaining to do to the Scottish government.