Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Glasgow and Equal Pay



Readers will be interested to learn that I have decided not to stand as an independent 'Equal Pay' candidate in May's local council elections, primarily because I believe that the SNP in Glasgow are genuine about resolving all of the outstanding claims.  

Now there's no room for complacency, of course, because it's not unknown for politicians to say one thing before an election takes place only to behave completely differently once they get into power.

But I've been impressed by what Cllr Susan Aitken, the SNP Group leader in Glasgow, has had to say recently about the importance of the Public Sector Equality Duty and the need to bring this long-running saga to an end.

Glasgow is now the only council in Scotland which has not dealt with its protection and pay arrangements following the introduction of job evaluation (in 2007) and that is solely down to the foot-dragging behaviour of the current Labour-run administration.      

I met with the City Council's present leader, Labour's Frank McAveety, last summer (2016) and urged him to get a grip on things, otherwise I predicted that the fight for equal pay would become a big issue in the run-up to the local council elections in May 2017.

Nonetheless, subsequent settlement discussions with council officials proceeded at the speed of a glacier and it's become clear to me in recent months that Glasgow's Labour Group lack the political will to clear up a mess of their own making.

Standing as an 'independent' in Shettleston (in Frank McAveety's back yard) runs the risk of splitting the vote, so on balance I think it is smarter to step aside and support candidates who are committed to breaking Labour's grip on power in Glasgow where the party has grown used to taking people for granted.

Not least the lowest paid, predominantly female, members of the City Council's workforce who are still fighting a Labour council - yes a Labour-run council - for their rights to equal pay after all these years.     

  


Glasgow and Equal Pay (28/03/17)



As regular readers know, I contacted the leaders of the SNP and Labour Groups at Glasgow City Council recently and asked Cllr Susan Aitken and Cllr Frank McAveety to set out their respective stalls over equal pay.

Cllr Aitken responded to my email straight away and said she would be delighted to write a piece for the blog site whereas I'm still waiting to hear anything, even an acknowledgement, from Frank McAveety.  

So here's what the Leader of the SNP Opposition Group at Glasgow City Council has to say about the long fight for equal pay which if you ask me, is a real breath of fresh air compared to the foot-dragging antics of the current Labour administration whose own leader has nothing to say.



  


Glasgow and Equal Pay

"The issue of equal pay for women working for Glasgow City Council has been a stain on the reputation of the city for years. The handling of the issue by Glasgow City Council has been disgraceful, with thousands of employees – mostly women in lower paid posts – waiting over ten years for a resolution to their case.

"SNP Councillors in Glasgow have maintained a close watching brief on progress, through senior officer briefings, union updates and representations by staff directly. We are united in our belief that the Council must reach a satisfactory resolution to this dispute, as quickly as possible, and we are aware of the upcoming cases at the Court of Session in late April and early May.


"This situation has gone on long enough. Should the SNP form a City Government for Glasgow on the 4th of May, we will take steps to resolve this dispute and to introduce a range of measures to improve working relations between the Council and those who work so hard providing services for Glaswegians every single day.

"We will work with trade unions, and others representing women who were victims of discriminatory pay policies, with the aim of resolving and settling all outstanding equal pay claims within this Council term. We will also create a workforce and Staff Governance Board, comprising trade unions, cross-party elected representatives and senior officers.

"We will appoint a political lead for Workforce and Staff Governance, who will be charged with ensuring that our manifesto pledges relating to staff are implemented across the Council family and that the principles of partnership working are embedded in our relationships with trade unions. We will also ensure that the Public Sector Equality Duty is fully adhered to in all of the Council’s dealings with our employees.


"To ensure that such situations don’t arise in future, we will undertake a review of Human Resources policies and procedures across the Council family, to ensure that they reflect and respond to our commitments to partnership working and fair treatment. We will also trade union representation on the board of each remaining ALEO. 

"We are committed to no compulsory redundancies and the principles of collective bargaining and negotiation. All Council family staff should expect to be paid the Scottish Living Wage. And we will use new Scottish Government procurement legislation to ensure that, wherever possible, businesses and organisations who carry out work on behalf of the Council adhere to fair work practices and decent pay.

"An SNP City Government for Glasgow will refuse to implement the UK government’s current trade union bill or future attempts to diminish workers’ and trade union rights. And we are determined to retain our staff within the Council family, not transferred or outsourced to private corporations where terms and conditions may be at risk.

"But as we refuse to do the work of Westminster Tories, we will regularly and sincerely consult with staff on the impact to their working lives of wider changes of policy and ways of working within the Council, and actively seeking and listening to staff’s ideas about how to improve frontline service delivery. As the experts on delivery of services, we will also listen to and reward staff who suggest better and more effective ways of working.

"Our vision for our workforce is positive. Our determination to right long-standing wrongs is strong. We look forward to the legal arguments being heard next month and for the opportunity to work with our workforce to make working for the Council is rewarding and valued, and that staff feel valued in turn."

Councillor Susan Aitken

Leader of the Opposition 
SNP councillor for Langside ward

Glasgow and Equal Pay (18/03/17)



I have invited the leader of the SNP Opposition Group on Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, to write a piece for the blog site outlining her party's stance on equal pay in the run-up to the local council elections on 4th May 2017.

As regular readers know, I extended the same invitation to the Labour leader Cllr Frank McAveety, the other day, and I think it will be very interesting to compare and contrast what these two politicians have to say.

So watch this space.

Dear Cllr Aitken

Glasgow and Equal Pay

As you may know, I write a blog on a regular basis which covers a wide range of topical issues but has a particular focus on the fight for equal pay in Scotland's local councils.

I would like to invite you to write a 600 word piece for the blog site addressing the long-running dispute with Glasgow City Council over the pay arrangements which flowed from the Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) introduced in 2007.

I am extending this invitation to you as the Leader of the SNP Opposition Group in Glasgow City Council and plan to extend the same invitation to the Labour leader, Cllr Frank McAveety.

I am sure your views on Glasgow City Council's handling of equal pay over the past 12 years will be of great interest to the thousands of readers who visit my blog site on a daily basis.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards



Mark Irvine 


   


Glasgow and Equal Pay (17/03/17)



I have invited the leader Glasgow City Council, Cllr Frank McAveety, to write a piece for the blog site setting out his and the Labour Party's position on equal pay ahead of the local council elections on 4th May 2017.

Here's my letter to Cllr McAveety whom I got to know during my role as an independent external adviser to Glasgow City Council's Public Standards Commission back in 1998.

So let's see what the Labour leader has to say for himself and to the thousands of readers in Glasgow who read my blog site every week.
  

Dear Cllr McAveety

Glasgow and Equal Pay

As you may know, I write a blog on a regular basis which covers a wide range of topical issues but has a particular focus on the fight for equal pay in Scotland's local councils.

I would like to invite you to write a 600 word piece for the blog site addressing the long-running dispute with Glasgow City Council over the pay arrangements which flowed from the Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) introduced in 2007.

I am extending this invitation to you as the Labour leader of Glasgow City Council and I plan to extend the same invitation to the SNP Opposition Group leader, Cllr Susan Aitken.

I am sure your views on Glasgow City Council's handling of equal pay over the past 12 years will be of great interest to the thousands of readers who visit my blog site on a daily basis.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards



Mark Irvine