Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Falkirk Council Update (01/11/15

Here's an extract from the 2015 Annual Report to the Falkirk Unison branch (sent to me by a reader) which takes a very laid back approach, if you ask me, to all the outstanding equal pay claims against Falkirk Council.

Because the reference to "Bainbridge claims" suggests that all Unison is concerned about is the protection period covering male workers jobs, rather than the JES scores and grades (which appear to favour traditional male jobs) and the arrangements for assimilating staff to the new pay structures (in 2006) whereby most of the men went to the top of the scale while all the women went to the bottom.

So if I were a union member in Falkirk I'd start asking some searching questions of my union reps PDQ (pretty damn quick), because this looks to me as if the unions have taken their eye off the ball, as the GMB did in North Lanarkshire recently.   

By the way, the key objective of the 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement was to deliver a new deal for thousands of low paid, predominantly female workers - carers, cleaners,  clerical and catering workers, classroom assistants etc - whose jobs had been so badly undervalued and underpaid for years.

Its main purpose was not to eliminate the contractual differences between white collar and manual workers, as the Unison annual report suggests which leads me to wonder - who wrote this nonsense?

If anyone knows, drop me a note.

Single Status & Job Evaluation

Single Status was imposed in December 2006 by dismissing and re-engaging those of our members who reused to voluntarily accept the new terms and conditions. The main aim of Single Status has been achieved, which was to eliminate the contractual differences between white collar and manual employees. 2 issues remain – the protection of employees who had 35 hour per week contracts and the lack of a grading appeals procedure. The Branch Committee had expected the 35-hour protection to be removed by now as it could be challenged on equal pay grounds. It is on the list of items the Employer wants us to consider as a terms & conditions saving.The obstacle to an agreement on a grading appeals procedure is the period of pay protection if the outcome of a re-evaluation is a downgrading.

Legal Claims: Equal Pay & Normal pay for Holidays (Lock Claims)

The remaining equal pay claims are still in the Tribunal system. These are all “Bainbridge” claims, which have comparators who were on protection due to previous bonus earnings. These claims are in the hands of Thompsons solicitors and the Scottish Legal Officer. The Branch Committee has no role in this. It is understood that a further attempt was made at settlement over 2 weeks ago. The offer made by the Council was however derisory and was rejected by the solicitors.