Sunday, 26 March 2017

Glasgow's Pay Arrangements

Equal pay claimants in Glasgow must be fed up getting passed from pillar to post by the politicians and senior officials at the City Council.

People write to the City Council leader Frank McAveety who fobs them off to another Labour councillor who, when faced with a difficult question, then fobs them off to a senior official - in this case the head of human resources, Robert Anderson.

Here's what Mr Anderson had to say in response to a regular reader of the blog who asked him to explain the City Council's pay arrangements following the introduction of the WPBR in 2007.

"Cllr Rhodes has asked me to respond to your message to him asking for more detail on the pay protection scheme operated by the Council.

"This was introduced in 2006 at the implementation of the current pay and grading system. It operated on the basis of three years protection to male or female employees who were going to see a reduction in their earnings as a result of the new pay and grading system. Around 3,000 employees benefited from pay protection and the gender split of this group was approximately 50:50. I would add that at the time the Trade Unions were seeking lifetime protection but the Council opted for a three year period because that was what was contained within the national Single Status Agreement."


Robert Anderson
Head of Human Resources

Now there are a number of big problems with Mr Anderson's response which I have summarised below:
  • The City Council claims about only 3-years protection is completely contradicted by its Executive Committee Minute of 8th December 2006 which gave a cast-iron guarantee that the earnings of higher paid (former bonus earning) male jobs would be maintained following the introduction of the WPBR in 2007 
  • Male and female jobs were treated very differently going into WPBR because of the high bonuses paid only to the men which were, as everyone now knows, worth several thousands  pounds a year to a full-time worker. 
  • The City Council accepted that its 'men only' bonus pay arrangements were discriminatory, but then failed to equalise the pay of male and female jobs before implementing its job evaluation scheme and the WPBR.
  • If the pay of the female dominated jobs had been raised to the same higher level as the men, as it should have been under the 'equality clause of the Equal Pay Act 19070 and Equality Act 2010), then the women workers would also have had their higher earnings maintained going forward from 2007.
  • So instead of being 'red circled' and protected just like the men the women's jobs were 'green circled' and continued to be paid much less than their male comparators - Gardeners, Refuse Workers, Roadworkers, Drivers, Gravediggers etc.   
  • On top of the 3-year protection period the City Council introduced a scheme known as the Employee Development Commitment (EDC) which ensured that earnings were maintained once protection had formally ended - this scheme was not available to female dominated jobs such as Home Carers whose pay increased slightly after the WPBR but not to the same level as the men. 
  • The City Council claims there was a 50/50 split in terms of pay protection involving around 3,000 workers, but 70% of Glasgow's workforce are women and the great majority of workers at the bottom of the City Council's pay ladder are still women to this day.
  • Taken together the evidence sayss that the council's male jobs were hugely over-represented as far as pay protection was concerned which, in turn, points to the women workers receiving less favourable treatment than their male colleagues.
In other words Glasgow City Council is talking 'bollix' and not for the first time when it comes to equal pay.