Friday, 27 August 2010

Money's No Object

An enterprising reader recently asked Edinburgh City Council - a very revealing Freedom of Information (FOI) question.

The question was: 'Can Edinburgh City Council confirm how much it has spent on external legal fees - in defending equal pay claims brought by former APT&C staff?'

The answer is a whopping great - £184,759.25 to date - according to the council's Head of Legal Services.

Edinburgh City Council's behaviour in defending these cases has been described previously - by the Employment Tribunal - as 'defending the indefensible'.

Yet the council continues to write cheques for huge sums of money - despite having lost the underlying legal arguments - at every turn.

Just who is giving this advice - how can it possibly be worth £184,759.25 - and why don't senior councillors and officials question whether they are getting value for money?

No doubt Edinburgh's Cook Supervisors, Social Care Workers and Classroom Assistants - will be outraged to hear that such huge sums of public money are being wasted in this way.

The fact is that the equal pay claims of these former APT&C staff groups are perfectly valid - and the sooner the council gets round to settling them the better.