Friday, 6 July 2012
Too Close For Comfort
Here's another post from the blog site archive which shows just how close relations between the South Lanarkshire Council and the trade unions have become - in recent years.
Seems to me that as far as equal pay is concerned - the council and the trade unions have taken their eye off the ball - and have been pursuing the wrong priorities for years.
South Lanarkshire and Equal Pay (5 February 2011)
South Lanarkshire Council has been blowing its own trumpet this week - with an announcement about a possible pay rise for some council workers.
Now don't get too excited.
Because the council is talking about a small pay rise for some employees - which would take them to £7.16 per hour - or an increase of £250 a year (£4.80 a week) if an employee already earns more than £7.16 an hour.
Council employees paid more than £21,000 a year - will get no pay rise at all.
But of course this has nothing to do with equal pay - nothing at all.
Because if there was equal pay in South Lanarkshire Council - between male and female jobs - then the low paid women workers would have been getting paid substantially more than £7.16 an hour - several years ago.
And that is what people's equal pay claims in South Lanarkshire are all about - recovering the money that many council workers have been underpaid for the past ten years.
The council's announcement does not deal with the issue of people's back pay claims for equal pay - which go back to 2000 or 2001 in most cases.
The council's announcement also does nothing to address the pay gap between traditional male and female jobs - so it's really nothing to get excited about.
Although to read the comments in the local papers - you'd think the council and the unions had discovered a recipe for world peace!
Council leader - Eddie McAvoy is quoted as saying:
"It's unfair that the bankers have caused all these problems yet they go home with millions of pounds in bonuses but people on low wages have to put up with pay freezes and benefit cuts."
Local Unison branch secretary - Stephen Smellie - welcomed the announcement saying:
"At a time when people are worrying about pay freezes, this means the low paid will get a rise."
The back slapping between the council and the union comes as no surprise - they're like two peas in a pod - two sides of the same coin.
But in reality the absence of equal pay in South Lanarkshire means that low paid workers council workers - have been losing out for years.
And that's what people's equal pay claims are all about - not just a few pennies here and there.