Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Glasgow - Bold as Brass

Image result for brasso + images

Here's another official report from Glasgow City Council containing, amongst other things, a detailed report on the Employee Development Commitment (EDC) which, as regular readers know, guaranteed the future earnings of higher paid all male jobs including those done by Gardeners, Refuse Workers and Gravediggers. 

Now senior council officials claim that providing detailed information about the EDC is a terribly costly and time consuming task which would require someone to search through almost 20,000 individual employee files.

Which is total bollix, of course, and the City Council has a brass neck for suggesting that this is a Herculean task.

Because this information can be readily obtained from Council Minutes, Committee Reports and Departmental Reports, so it is not the equivalent of searching for a needle in a haystack as council officials would have people believe.  

The local trade unions must also have a record of what deals were done to guarantee the former bonus earnings of Gardeners and Gravediggers, for example, but the GMB may be reluctant to share this information because the Home Carers, Cooks, Catering Workers, Cleaners, Clerical Staff and Classroom Assistants would all ask:

"Why didn't my trade union put the same effort into defending the interests of the women workers as they put into looking after the men?" 

In an effort to cut through all this nonsense I've submitted a new FoI request to the City Council which ought to be unnecessary, if Glasgow really is committed to open, honest and transparent pay arrangements.

I plan to share my FoI request on the blog site and I may well ask for people's help to break this ridiculous logjam - so watch this space.

Item 12 - 14th December 2007


Report to: Report by:
Executive Committee

Councillor Tom McKeown, Executive Member for Personnel and Corporate Services
Ian Drummond (74521), Norma Aird (75040), Elma Murray (74081)
Subject of Report - Workforce Pay & Benefits Review
Purpose of Report

To provide an update to the Executive Committee in respect of the Workforce Pay & Benefits Review.

The Committee is asked to note the progress made to date.
Ward No(s):
Local member(s) advised: Yes
Consulted: Yes No

  1. Introduction
    The purpose of this report is to provide the Executive Committee with an update in respect of various aspects of the WPBR

  2. Background
    The Executive Committee on 13 October 2006 approved a report in respect of the outcomes of the WPBR and authorised the implementation of the new Pay, Grading and Benefits Package. In addition the Committee reinforced the commitment to employees in a detrimental position including the provision of individual development plans, actions to ensure current skills were enhanced, and service redesign. Subsequent reports have been submitted to the Executive Committee in March 2007 in respect of the approach to completion of implementation and in dealing with outstanding equal pay claims.

  3. Current Position
  1. 3.1  Payroll Implementation
    The redesigned payroll system which was developed to reflect the new pay & grading structure was fully implemented for all employees at the end of July 2007. Further work has now been undertaken by Services and the Shared Service Centre to deal with any remaining outstanding issues ie adjustments, successful reviews etc with the majority of this work being concluded by December 2007.

  2. 3.2  Reviews
    Employees had the ability either collectively or individually to submit a request for a Review of the outcome of the WPBR as it related to them.

    Some 2,000 reviews were submitted, made up of both individual and collective requests; covering in excess of 9,000 staff. To ensure a consistent approach these have been managed by a process of dealing with reviews family by family.

    To date reviews have been concluded for all Job Families with the exception of Physical & Environmental Services (PES), Clerical Admin (CA) and Business Support (BS).

    The number of reviews heard represent 75% of the staff who submitted requests.
    This has been a major task to conclude reviews and has been resource intensive for both Services and Trade Unions.

    The aim is to have the majority of Reviews concluded by the end of the Calendar year, it is however likely that in some Services and in particular for BS & CA Reviews that it will be January 2008 before this work is fully concluded.
It is the intention to commence the process of hearing Appeals, which will be heard by Executive Directors, in early 2008. A timetable and final approach is currently being developed and will be the subject of consultation with Trade Unions.

3.3 Employee Development Commitment

Throughout this year a significant amount of work has been undertaken across the Council to review the specific circumstances of employees in protected status and to establish what action needs to be taken to assist these individuals and groups retain their earnings beyond the period of protection.

I chair the EDC Officers Group which oversees and reports on all EDC related activity underway in each Service. This group comprises senior managers from each Service and meets regularly to review and report on progress regarding the EDC. This group also acts as a consultative forum for the planning of all corporate activities to support both managers and employees throughout the process.

I also chair the EDC Steering Group which ensures that representatives from each Trade Union are kept informed of progress being made in each Service and have an opportunity to contribute to and be involved in the implementation of the Employee Development Commitment for their members.

It was recognised at an early stage that individual development plans would not in themselves resolve the detriment position for all employees. Therefore, a range of activities has been identified by the EDC Officers Group as being appropriate to enable employees to retain their earnings beyond the period of protection.

This activity falls into three broad categories:
  • Service Reform
  • Personal Development
  • Contractual Issues (changes to working hours, additional payments, retirement,
  • voluntary redundancy etc)
The above activity has enabled 1,168 employees to have their situation resolved. This is a reduction from 3,148 staff at the start of the financial year. Therefore, 1,980 employees from all grades and levels across the Council are still in detriment. Of those, 814 have detriment of 5% or less. 1,115 employees have already received an EDC meeting with their manager, with the remainder due to take place before the end of the year.

Service reform and development are the key solutions for assisting employees in protected status. Service reform has been, and looks likely to continue to be, the biggest driver in reducing the numbers of those in detriment.

3.4 Equal Pay Claims

The Executive Committee on 30 March 2007 approved a report giving authority to the Chief Executive to negotiate a settlement in respect of equal pay claims lodged with the Employment Tribunal.

Significant progress has been made and settlement of a number of claims has been progressed. This has been within a framework of identified groups of eligible claims where a specific criteria has been met.

To date in excess of 3,000 claims have been submitted of these over 1,100 offers of settlement have been made, the majority of which have been accepted.

Settlement of claims has been made within the available sums identified within the Approved Accounts and resources of the Council to meet the costs of a negotiated settlement.

This is however an ongoing area of work which includes responding to the remaining & future claims. In particular challenges are being made in respect of a) male dominated groups, b) residual claims, c) the compromise agreements in 2005 and d) the protection arrangements.

4. Recommendation

The Committee is asked to note the progress made on the remaining issues related to the WPBR.


Glasgow's Pay Arrangements (15/10/17)

Information continues to emerge about Glasgow City Council's EDC (Employee Development Commitment) pay scheme which guaranteed to look after the bonus earnings of hundreds of higher paid, traditional male jobs including Gardeners, Refuse Workers, Gravediggers and so on.

If City Council officials can't explain or defend their own WPBR pay scheme, then I say send in Audit Scotland and the Accounts Commission to get to the bottom of exactly what's been going on.

Because the jobs of Gardeners, Refuse Workers and Gravediggers still exist even if they're now called something else, so why doesn't the City Council come clean and explain what's happened to the pay of these jobs since 2007?

I'll bet anyone a pound to a penny that they've all done massively better in pay terms, than comparative female dominated jobs over the past 10 years.

Council officials pretend that providing this information is terrible expensive and the equivalent of looking for a needle in a haystack, because the task would involve searching through thousands and thousands of individual employee files/

Which is total bollix, of course, as the following table shows - highlighting for example that there were 675 employees (all male) benefiting from the EDC in the Land Services Department alone. 



Progress as at 17 January 2007

Total Number of Staff
Service Reform Proposals
Staff Development Proposals
Job Redesign
Chief Executive








Land Services

Social Work
No return

*The proposal is to alter working hours.

The Fight for Equal Pay in Glasgow (12/10/17)

Here's another official GCC document, a report to the Corporate Management Team (CMT), which appears to have been written by Elma Murray who featured in the blog site recently - see post below dated 14 September 2017.

Now the City Council appears to have some difficulty in explaining how the EDC scheme operated, but here it is in black and white - in a written report to the Council's most senior management team.

If you ask me, there must be lots of other similar and later CMT reports and from these documents it must be a relatively easy task to track down numbers, figures and financial costs.

Because that's the way councils work, as everyone knows, unless of course Scotland's largest and best resourced council is telling the world that these records have mysteriously disappeared.


Report to Corporate Management Team – 23rd January 2007

People Strategy and Employee Development Commitment

Report by Head of eGovernment and Head of Corporate HR

Contact: Elma Murray/Norma Aird


  1. The Corporate Management Team received and endorsed a report in August 2006 outlining recommendations for the development of a People Strategy for the Council.

    1. It is proposed that the People Strategy be taken forward by focussing on 3 broad areas:

  • Implementation of a common set of HR standards to be used and applied across the Council

  • Development of a corporate programme to support managers in the implementation of the standards

  • Implementation of a new HR Service Delivery model, making more use of the Shared Service Centre and 1Business approach.

    1. The People Strategy has yet to be presented to Elected Members for approval.  However, in view of the challenging agenda currently facing the Council and it’s workforce, it is considered that much of the work could be undertaken by Officers in advance of the Strategy being approved.

    1. In October 2006 the Council agreed to the implementation of a new Pay and Grading Scheme.  Importantly, this contained a commitment to those employees that may suffer a loss of earnings as a result of the new Scheme.  This commitment includes pay protection for up to three years with the opportunity to receive development to allow them to maintain their earnings in the long term.

    1. The implementation of the new Scheme will have wide reaching implications for all of our HR activities which will require to be updated and modernised to take advantage of the new Scheme.

    1. It is appropriate for these major pieces of work to be developed in conjunction with each other.  This paper proposes an approach to do this.


  1. There are a number of key pieces of work that require to be undertaken over the next 24 months.  Some of these are highlighted in the paragraphs below and it is proposed to establish a dedicated team to allow this work to be taken forward.

Dedicated Organisational Development Team

    1. This team will be led by the Assistant Corporate HR Services Manager.  To allow the Head of Corporate HR to concentrate on the main aspects of the implementation of the new Pay and Grading Scheme, as well as managing the Council’s overall HR demands, it is further proposed that this post, and the team, report to the Head of eGovernment and Development.

    1. The team would comprise the existing Learning and Development team of 4 staff along with 4 members of staff from eGovernment and Development.  Two of whom are supporting the Employee Development Commitment (EDC) programme and a further two working on change in another Council project.  It is also proposed that 2 secondments are sought from service departments to bring a service focus to the work.

    1. The workload of the new OD Team will be targeted at driving forward the range of development and change activities required to implement the People Strategy and EDC.

    1. The OD Team would work closely with Corporate HR, to role out the Shared Service Centre model and put in place new standards; and the Business Change and Internal Communications Teams, to ensure there is a cohesive approach to change and communicating that change.

    1. An important area of work for the team would also be to oversee the roll-out of the PDP scheme, which will be used as the basis for individual development plans as part of the EDC.  Further work will be required to link the competencies identified within the new Job Family Role Profiles to the development competencies used in the PDP scheme.

EDC – Training and Development

    1. A key area of work will be training and development.  An audit of training and development resources, conducted by Hays, has recommended that if we are to achieve our commitment to staff (existing commitments and new ones to support the EDC) a more co-ordinated and planned approach to training is required.

    1. Our current approach of devolving training to services allows a local focus on operational and technical compliance.  However, this also hampers overall efficiency and effectiveness.  This is more particularly the case in respect of generic training and development courses.

1.9. Hays have therefore proposed that centralised planning and co-ordination should be put in place to achieve economies in provision and realignment of overall delivery.  A greater focus will be required on competencies in addition to technical skills.

    1. By moving only to centralised planning and co-ordination still leaves a risk that not enough priority will be placed on changing training programmes to meet the specific demands of all of our workforce over the next two years.  It is therefore proposed that all training resources now operate as one team, with three satellite teams to cover statutory training requirements within Social Work and Direct and Care Services and modern apprentices in Land Services.
(Note: This will exclude training for teachers).

    1. The move from service-specific training teams to a corporate training team was originally considered as part of the Best Value Review of Training and Development in 2003.  However, this was not taken forward into the final recommendations.

    1. Service departments will be understandably anxious about this proposal, in respect of local needs, and it is therefore proposed that a commitment on the funding available to support the EDC is also given.  This will ensure there is a clear understanding that, overall, resources are increasing.

    1. This corporate training resource would report for an interim period to the Head of eGovernment and Development to ensure that the Councils EDC to staff is met, whilst existing commitments continue to be delivered.  After March 2009 it is proposed that this position is reviewed to take cognisance of further changes in the Council such as the Shared Service Centre’s role.

Leadership and Management Development

    1. In May 2006 the Corporate Management Team agreed to postpone proposals for Leadership and Management Development training.  The People Strategy recommends that training and development be put in place to allow managers to take on a wider range of people management responsibilities and to set a series of management standards across the Council.

    1. A number of managers will also be involved in managing the EDC for staff receiving protection.  A training and support programme for these managers is under development.

    1. It is recommended that proposals for Leadership and Management Development training be reviewed and a revised set of proposals be brought before the Corporate Management Team for approval.


    1. To ensure that the work of the new OD team is aligned with the work of Corporate HR and the implementation of the new Pay and Grading Scheme governance and control arrangements will be agreed and put in place by the Chief Executive and Corporate Management Team.  These arrangements will require to cover the Pay and Grading Scheme as well as the Employee Development Commitment.


It is recommended that:

  1. A dedicated Organisational Development Team be established as outlined in paragraphs 2.2 to 2.6;

  1. Training resources be managed corporately to take forward the EDC as outlined in paragraphs 2.7 to 2.13.

Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (14/09/17)

One of the names mentioned in Glasgow's EDC Steering Group which I highlighted on the blog site yesterday was Elma Murray.

Now could this be the same Elma Murray who is now chief executive at North Ayrshire Council and who chaired a meeting of Glasgow's Steering Group back on 5 September 2007?

If so, I suspect Elma would be more than happy to help jog Glasgow's memory about the Employee Development Commitment since its own senior officials seem to be having such problems remembering anything about the controversial scheme (so they say) which led to hundreds of male dominated bonus earning jobs being given more favourable treatment than their female colleagues.

Here's an article which appeared in the Daily Record back in 2014 and says that Elma was previously Head of Service Reform at Glasgow City Council and if this is indeed the same Elma Murray, she must surely know where all the 'bodies are buried' in terms of the EDC scheme.

So I think I'll send a copy of this blog post to the Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, with a suggestion that Elma is invited up to the City Chambers for a special briefing session on the EDC.

I suspect this would really set the cat amongst the pigeons.



Council's chief executive to remain in role to help North Ayrshire 'prosper'
Elma Murray was linked with a move to the top job at Glasgow City Council but decided against applying for the post.

BY SANDY CLARKE - The Daily Record

Elma Murray says being chief executive of North Ayrshire Council is a privilege

Elma Murray may not be a name recognisable to many people — but that’s how the energetic North Ayrshire Council chief executive likes things to be.

Her role, she insists, is behind-the-scenes, creating an environment that allows her staff to develop opportunities that benefit the public.

In her own words, overseeing 6500 members of staff in an area that has been in economic decline for the past 30 years is a “compelling challenge” and one that the bolshie council chief has no intention of shirking.

It’s no real surprise, then, that when the top job at Glasgow City Council came up earlier this year, she didn’t apply for the post despite being tipped by many as the ideal candidate to take over from outgoing chief, George Black.

You’d be forgiven to question why an able and competent candidate, who served as head of service reform at Scotland’s largest authority, didn’t leap at the chance of taking on the job, but, for Elma, there was no question over where her future lay.

She said: “I think that it was a fair assumption for a lot of people to make that I would go for the Glasgow council job, and I suppose if I was outside looking-in, I would have made the same assumption.

“North Ayrshire is an area that has been in economic decline for 30 or 40 years and, since I came here, I’ve had three main priorities. The first has been to halt or reverse that decline; the second is to deal with the inequalities that exist in what is a very diverse area; and third, I want to lead and push for having the best child services we can have.

“I’m part way through that work and when you think of the combination of those priorities, they form the most compelling challenge — what’s not to like about staying and trying to sort that out?”

She went on: “While Glasgow’s a bigger authority and I’ve spent most of my local government life there, working to help make North Ayrshire a better part of Scotland is something much bigger than looking to any personal progression. I thought hard about it, but my personal progression lies in helping North Ayrshire prosper.

“I’m really proud at where we are right now and I’d like to be clear that my role is more about creating an environment for things to happen — the best I can be is the best of the people around me.

“We’ve got some fabulous senior officers and I would say they were some of the best in Scotland. There’s not a week that goes by where I don’t think about how brilliant it has been to work with someone on something.”

Joining North Ayrshire Council from Glasgow City Council in 2009, Elma has worked across a Labour administration and an SNP administration as of 2012, and despite the challenges that kind of shift can bring, there has been a smooth transition in working relationships.

Said Elma: “Being chief executive of North Ayrshire Council and working with the elected members is a privilege. Part of my job is to act as principal advisor to the leader, the cabinet, and all the members of the council in order to support them in a range of areas.

“I have to be seen as somebody with integrity and ability, and someone members can trust regardless of what political side they are on.”

“Without going into the politics of it, Labour held a minority administration when I came here in 2009 and there were some struggles getting to grips with how a minority administration works. I would discuss a number of issues with members in terms of getting votes to back policies, who they might approach for support and so on.

“Having been the administration for a time, Labour had some clear views with regards to the direction of the council.

“When the SNP formed the administration in 2012, initially there were some challenges to overcome, to address any concern that the same heads of services who had spent many years working with the Labour administration would now be able to work as well alongside the SNP.

“But we worked with the new administration and quickly overcame that hurdle, and it became clear to them that they too were being offered solid, clear and professional advice. It was about discussing where the council was, what direction it was headed in, and the policies the administration wanted to develop and how that could be done.”

A woman praised by council leader Willie Gibson as making “a highly valuable contribution to the running of the council” and often being “the first to arrive to work and the last to leave”, it’s clear that she has a genuine passion to help make North Ayrshire the best place it can be.

She’s also keen to stress the value of the council’s staff across all levels, revealing that she’s often left surprised at the level of work that comes from her employees.

She said: “The council has 6500 staff and clearly I won’t know them all personally, so it’s an amazing feeling when I’m told about all the wonderful things members of staff do. It leaves me on such a high to know that across the board we have such a committed and caring staff who are genuinely working to make a difference.”

As well as her duties in her role as chief executive, her guidance is highly-sought and well respected up and down the country.

Asked to describe a typical day, she explains: “I don’t have one as such; what’s typical is the variety, where I have so many things to do in a day. So I could be looking at child protection issues, housing issues, employment, schools, dealing with an elected member’s query and so on.

“That’s the stuff I do locally and then there are things I’m involved in at a national level. I sit on a number of boards and groups that support the government on policy development.

“What I do at a national level helps to bring North Ayrshire to the table and get involved in developments and have our voice heard, so I’m always very conscious that I’m an ambassador for the council when I’m taking part in discussions.”

Contemplating her vision of the council, Elma’s clear on the importance of focusing heavily on economic development and employment, particularly for young people.

She said: “We have one of the most incredible natural environments in Scotland. We also have fantastic transport and transport links, and exceptional housing.

“North Ayrshire is one of the best places in Scotland to live and work, and it is an immense privilege to serve as the council’s chief executive.”

Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (13/09/17)

Now here's an interesting document - one that might interest senior officials in Glasgow City Council, or at least those who claim to have little, if any, knowledge of the Council's controversial EDC pay scheme which gave a long-term guarantee on future earnings to male employees in bonus earning jobs.

According to this document Glasgow City Council established a high powered Joint Steering Group to oversee the operation of the EDC scheme which kept minutes of its meetings (as you would expect) and included representatives from every part of the Council: elected councillors, the chief executive's department, service departments and all of the trade unions (including Unison and GMB) were involved.

Mike Kirby from Unison was present at this particular meeting and Mike is now the union's regional secretary in Scotland.

So maybe Mike can help jog the City Council's memory about what deals were done to upgrade hundreds of male Gardener and Gravedigger jobs - while leaving all the female dominated jobs still stuck firmly at the bottom of the Council's pay ladder.  

Does anyone in Glasgow really believe that senior officials of the City Council can't find this information - maybe they are just not looking hard enough or could it be that they are looking in the wrong places?



in Café George, Parish Hall


Elma Murray
Carol Ball
Glenda McKendrick
Chief Executive Dept
Mike Kirby
L Norwood/W Stewart
John Murdoch
David Halliday
Eddie Sneider
Martin Doran

Apologies were received from Councillor McKeown, Mary Brown (UCATT) and Janice Irvine.

E Murray opened the meeting in Councillor McKeown’s absence.

1. Notes of Previous Meeting and Matters Arising

1.1 The Note of the previous meeting was accepted.

1.2 Confirmation was asked for regarding point 1.3, Training for TU representatives, which Councillor McKeown was to raise with N Aird.  E Murray advised that she would clarify action on this item and advise the group.

Action:  Clarify with Councillor McKeown E Murray

1.3 Clarification was asked for regarding point 1.4, consistency of information being issued to staff when invited to attend Review proceedings.  E Murray advised that she would ask I Drummond to raise at the next Governance Board meeting and issue a response to the group prior to the next meeting.

Action:  Raise with I Drummond E Murray

2. PDP Paperwork - L Norwood/W Stewart, DaCS

L Norwood advised the group of how the PDP process is conducted within DaCS and W Stewart explained all aspects of the paperwork which has been developed in line with the corporate approach.

C Ball expressed some concern at the lack of preparation time which would be given to staff prior to a PDP meeting.  She also pointed out that the DaCS paperwork has 4 levels of competency compared to the corporate 3 levels and asked if these points could be considered.

3. Council Wide Progress

E Murray explained the new format of the reports and the following points were discussed:

3.1 Based on the figures reported, the group asked for clarification of the actions being proposed. E Murray advised of the commitment given by the CMT that staff facing protection should have received a PDP before the end of this year.  Details of development options and service reform for individuals are to be looked at with Services.
Concerns were expressed regarding the timescale, particularly within Education, as the PDP rollout is still taking place.

3.2 The issue of Review results taking as long as 6 weeks to be issued was raised.

Action:  Raise with I Drummond E Murray

3.3 An issue was raised regarding 3 Parking Staff who lost their Review and have had no further contact from management.  There was also a point made that within LES a restructure of Senior Management based on salary has taken place although some of those involved are awaiting Reviews.

Action:  Clarify with R Booth E Murray

3.4 The group asked why the BS and CA Reviews have been postponed until November.  E Murray advised that this is due to the previous reviews taking longer and to allow Services to begin these job families at the same time.  C Ball expressed concern at this as Education is ready to proceed with reviews for these families.

300 reviews have already taken place for 7,000 staff, including group reviews.

1,600 reviews have still to be heard for 3,000 staff, a large number of which are individual reviews.

3.5 The group asked if the number of Reviews that have taken place could be updated for the next meeting.

Action: E Murray

3.6 The group asked if it is the intention for ongoing reviews to be heard by job family.  E Murray advised that this is necessary to maintain the integrity of the WP&BR.  A point was made that within Education someone had been advised at their Review that a review of the job was required.

4. Careers Scotland Progress

E Murray spoke to the report.

4.1 A point was made that the low take up of the Careers Scotland services may be due to staff perception that the service is to assist them in finding a job outwith the Council.

4.2 E Sneider asked for a demonstration of the mapping tool.  G McKendrick invited him to attend the next Process Workshop scheduled for 20 September.

5. Schedule of meetings 

The following dates have been scheduled:

12 December 2007
 5 March 2008
 5 June 2008

All at 2.30 pm in Café George.