Wednesday, 21 March 2012
As reported previously on the blog site, Edinburgh City Council has withdrawn its appeal over the Wilkinson case.
But only in connection with the Action 4 Equality Scotland clients - not all of the claimants.
My local contacts tell me that the City Council is not withdrawing its potential appeal to the Supreme Court - as far as the trade union backed claims are concerned.
Which may hold things up settlement of the union backed cases - for some time.
Apparently the reason for the council's decision is that the trade unions are caught up in a separate case - which is referred to as North v Dumfries & Galloway Council.
Now the North case is fast becoming notorious because it involves only a small number of claimants - all from Dumfries & Galloway of course - and all of whom are union members.
No Action 4 Equality Scotland clients are involved - and never have been thankfully.
The North case involves essentially the same legal point as Wilkinson - i.e whether or not former APT&C workers can compare their pay - to the pay of former male Manual workers.
In the Wilkinson case the answer to this question was an unequivocal YES - at the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and finally at the Court of Session.
Which led to Edinburgh City Council admitting defeat - and deciding to throw in the towel.
But the trade unions have lost the North case at every turn so far - for whatever reason - and the appeal in this case is not due to be heard in the UK Supreme Court until October 2012.
Quite why the trade unions are persevering with North is a mystery - especially when the Wilkinson case is so much more persuasive and powerful.
But the whole business appears to be queering the pitch - certainly in Edinburgh according to sources inside the the council - and possibly elsewhere as well.
My friends in the unions tell me that lots of ordinary members are completely confused - and increasingly hopping mad.