Sunday, 23 April 2017

Glasgow MPs and MSPs

The SNP decided yesterday that Natalie McGarry would not be selected as a candidate for the seat of Glasgow East having lost the SNP whip after allegations of embezzlement over tens of thousands of pounds in missing donations from the campaign group Women for Independence (WIP).

I can't say I'm surprised as I wrote to Natalie McGarry twice recently regarding the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council, but never received the courtesy of a reply.

Which is an odd way for an elected representative to behave although I once encountered the same kind of rude behaviour when I worked for NUPE (now Unison)  in London and dealt with Ken Livingstone during his time as the Labour MP for Brent East.

In any event, I plan to publish the responses of all Glasgow MSPs and MPs ahead of next Thursday's council elections on 4th May.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Irvine
Sent: Tue, Apr 18, 2017 10:17 am
Subject: Fwd: Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay

Dear Natalie

Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay 

I am chasing up all Glasgow MSPs and MPs who have still to respond to my email regarding the long-running equal pay dispute with the Glasgow City Council.

I have heard from three of your MSP/MP colleagues already and have posted their messages of support on my blog to highlight the issues involved and the Labour administration's foot-dragging behaviour, in the run-up to the local council elections on Thursday 4th May 2017.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Irvine <>
To: <>
Sent: Wed, Apr 12, 2017 1:53 pm
Subject: Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay
Dear Natalie

Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay 

I am contacting every constituency MSP and MP in Glasgow to ask for their comments on the long-running equal pay dispute with Glasgow City Council.

I plan to publish these comments on my blog in the run-up to the local council elections on 4 May 2017 - the site can be found at:

The leader of the SNP Group at Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, has already written an article for my blog and I enclose a copy of what Cllr Aitken had to say, for your information.

I extended the same invitation to the leader of the Labour Group at the City Council, Cllr Frank McAveety, but sadly Frank failed to respond and seems unwilling or unable to defend the track record of his administration which has been dragging its feet on this issue for years. 

I am sure you will be interested to learn that Glasgow is now the only remaining council in Scotland not to have reached a settlement in respect of its post-job evaluation pay arrangements.    

As you probably know from my previous emails, Action 4 Equality Scotland represents 6,000 equal pay claimants in Glasgow and my blog site currently attracts around 20,000 visitors every week. 

I look forward to hearing from you and if you require any further information before responding, please drop me a note at:

Kind regards

Mark Irvine

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