Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Fife Council Update (14/09/15)

Image result for fife council HQ + images

The equal pay claims against Fife Council are shaping up much as I expected and there seem to me to be clear similarities with what happened in Labour-run North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Councils.

Essentially there are three elements to people's claims:

  • a claim for the protection period during which the much higher earnings of male jobs were maintained
  • a claim for any disparity in the assimilation arrangements to new pay structures, e.g. in moving male jobs to the top of a grades while all the women started at the bottom
  • a claim against any defects in the Council's job evaluation scheme (JES) which led to predominantly female jobs such as Home Carers being placed on lower grades than comparable male jobs 
The trade unions in Fife were, of course, heavily involved in approving the new pay arrangements and JES with the Council, just as they were in North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.

And the end result looks broadly the same with women's jobs being congregated at the bottom of the pay ladder which is the exact opposite of what was originally intended by the 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement.

I understand that local union officials will be called as Management Side witnesses in the hearings against Fife Council and it will be very interesting to see if this amounts to local union officials giving evidence against the interests of their own members.

More to follow, so watch this space.