Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Glasgow - Next Steps

I've been thinking hard about the next steps for in the campaign to hold Labour-run Glasgow City Council to account over its shameful behaviour in relation to equal pay.

Now I plan to continue giving the City Council a good 'kicking' right up to the local elections on 4th May 2017 and that will hopefully encourage the incoming council to finally face up to its obligations over equal pay - and do the right thing by its female dominated workforce after all these years.

Claimants in Glasgow may have their own ideas about how best to challenge and embarrass the outgoing City Council, the well  paid senior officials, the outgoing Labour administration and its leader, Cllr. Frank McAveety.

So if you have an idea for the campaign, then drop me a note - in confidence of course.

Because I'm up for just about anything, apart from setting fire to myself in protest in George Square - even if some of council 'bigwigs' inside the City Chambers would happily supply the matches for free.

A more practical suggestion is that I start to publish on the blog site details of the differences in pay before and after the City Council introduced its Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) which is just a fancy name for a Glasgow's job evaluation (JE) scheme.

Would people find that helpful, I wonder?

If so, I would post the pre-WPBR and post-WPBR earning for all the different claimant (female) and comparator (male) jobs which would help Glasgow employees understand the big picture in relation to equal pay.

I might also be able to provide a 'ready reckoner' which would allow individual claimants to calculate the difference in pay between their own job and that of a good  male comparator - although I would be able to offer this service to A4ES clients only.

So let me know what you think - it's good to get feedback from the blog site and you can do so by emailing me (in confidence) at:

Glasgow's WPBR is a local JE scheme, by the way, since the City Council refused to use the nationally approved 'Gauge' job evaluation scheme which was jointly recommended for use by the Scottish employers (COSLA) and the trade unions including Unison, of course.

Come to think of it that's another occasion when the trade unions refused to stand up for their members over which JE scheme to use - because if you ask me, the WPBR and the Glasgow guarantee about 'preserving' the higher pay of male dominated jobs allowed the City Council to get away with murder.


Glasgow's Home Carers (20/03/17)

I attended an excellent meeting of Glasgow Home Carers in Govanhill last Friday to discuss the ongoing campaign to hold Glasgow City Council to account over equal pay.

All of the usual topics were covered including:
  • the importance of claimants contacting their MSPs and MPs for support
  • the use of freedom of information (FoI) requests to uncover the City Council's post-WPBR pay arrangements
  • the forthcoming appeal hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 25 to 27 April and  2 to 5 May 2017
  • the level of bonus payments in male dominated jobs and the guarantee given by the City Council that these earnings would be maintained (in response to a strike threat by the trade unions)
As I write this post I'm looking at the earnings of a City Council Gravedigger in 2007 - a post which was on Grade MW3 before the WPBR and two grades below Home Carers who were on MW5.

The pay information has been provided to me in response to an FoI request and shows the earnings of the Gravedigger as £22,845.40 (excluding overtime) in 2007 - £11,986 in basic salary and £10,859.40 in 'additional payments' the bulk of which I suspect had to be earned via bonus payments.

Now take nothing away from the council Gravedigger because they work hard and do an essential jobs like lots of other council staff, but how can it be that Home Carers (on the much higher grade of MW5) are not worth at least the same pay?

Shift working can't account for the pay difference because Home Carers in Glasgow typically work a 'split shift' which means they work for 5 hours (8am to 1pm) and have an unpaid break for three hours before returning to complete another 5 hour shift later in the day (4pm to 10pm).

Split shift working is the most onerous of all shift stems if you ask me, because unlike other workers the whole day revolves around your job and people are not really done with their work until late in the evening.

Yet for this huge inconvenience to their lives Home Carers are worth thousands of pounds less than a council Gravedigger which sounds very unfair to me.  

Another meeting in Govanhill is planned for next Monday and some of the local politicians will be present which is good news if you ask me, because so far I haven't witnessed too many Glasgow MSPs and MPs speaking out in support of the fight for equal pay with the Labour-led City Council.