Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Glasgow MSPs and MPs



Polling Day in the local council elections in on Thursday and on the subject of equal pay the two big parties are like 'chalk and cheese'.

While the leader of the SNP Group Cllr Susan Aitken set out the views of her party on this long standing issue, Labour's Frank McAveety couldn't even take the trouble to explain or defend his own corner.  

I wrote to all constituency MSPs and MPs in Glasgow asking for their views and received a response and message of support from:
  • Bob Doris - MSP Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn
  • James Dornan - MSP for Glasgow Cathcart
  • Bill Kidd - MSP for Glasgow Anniesland
  • John Mason - MSP for Glasgow Shettleston
  • Ivan McKee - MSP for Glasgow Provan
  • Nicola Sturgeon - MSP for Glasgow Southside
  • Sandra White - MSP for Glasgow Kelvin
  • Patrick Grady - MP for Glasgow North
  • Stewart McDonald - MP for Glasgow South
  • Anne McLaughlin - MP for Glasgow North East
  • Carol Monaghan - MP for Glasgow North West
  • Chris Stephens - MP for Glasgow South West
  • Alison Thewliss - MP for Glasgow Central
I didn't hear anything back from the following individuals which strikes me as odd, as I have no idea why a member of the Scottish or Westminster parliaments would fail to respond to such a straightforward request, especially when the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with her busy schedule, took the time to make her position clear.  
  • Humza Yousaf - MSP for Glasgow Pollok
  • Natalie McGarry - MP for Glasgow East (who has been de-selected by the SNP)
In any event I'm sure readers will find this information helpful deciding who to support in the forthcoming local and national elections.



  



Glasgow MSPs and MPs (25/04/17)


Bob Doris MSP has been in touch with the following message of support in the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council.

Dear Mark,

Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay

Outstanding equal pay claims have been a shameful  embarrassed to Glasgow City Council for a number of years. A new and fresh City Government must work constructively with Trade Unions and other representatives of the many women who have lost out over the years. The matter must be brought to a fair resolution as soon as practicably possible. 

I am delighted SNP council group leader, Susan Aitken, has pledged to seek to do if the SNP takes control of Glasgow on May 4th.

Best wishes, 



Bob Doris 

MSP for Maryhill and Springburn (SNP)

Image result for bob doris + images

  



Glasgow MSPs and MPs (25/04/17)


James Dornan is the latest MSP to get in touch over the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council and he has also submitted the following written question to the Scottish Government.

"To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take to ensure that local authorities should meet their moral and legal obligations in settling equal pay claims, and what discussions it has had with Glasgow City Council regarding this."

James is the MSP for Glasgow Cathcart and as regular readers know he met recently with a group of Home Carers from the south side of Glasgow.

I look forward to hearing what the Scottish Government has to say and I plan to publish all of the responses I've received from Glasgow MSPs/MPs next week ahead of Thursday's local council elections. 

Let's hope the winds of change blow away the present Labour-run administration which has had every opportunity to settle the issue of equal pay long before polling day!


  


Glasgow and Equal Pay (22/05/17)


A group of Home Carers from the south side of Glasgow have been in touch to say they had a very good meeting with their local MSP yesterday - James Dornan, the member for Glasgow Cathcart.

The Home Carers came away very buoyed-up after their discussion with their MSP who has agreed to lend his weight to the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council in the weeks ahead. 

So let's hope that other Glasgow politicians follow James Dornan's lead and that more and more equal pay claimants contact their local MSPs and MPs for support in the run-up to the local elections on 4th May 2017.

Image result for james dornan + Glasgow MSP images

  


Glasgow MSPs and MPs (21/03/17)


I tweeted a copy of yesterday's post about the fight for equal pay with Labour-run Glasgow City Council to all Glasgow MSPs and MPs - 15 in total all of whom support the SNP. 

In my tweet I asked the following question:

"How is it possible that Glasgow's Home Carers are worth thousands of pounds a year less than a Council Gravedigger?"

So let's see what Glasgow's politicians have to say in support of their constituents because a quick look at their Twitter feed shows that that have plenty to say on lots of other important subjects.  

In which case getting behind the fight for equal pay in Glasgow ought to be a real 'doddle'.

  


Glasgow MSPs and MPs (10/02/17)



I've had lots of emails from readers in Glasgow asking how they can help to hold the City Council to account in the fight for equal pay.

Well one of the most effective things people can do is to contact their local MSP or MP and ask for their support.

I wrote to all Glasgow MSPs and MPs just the other day, so they are bang up to date with all the latest developments and Glasgow's local politicians have plenty to say at the moment.

For example, on the Council Tax and local council budgets, to the closure of job centres or the impact of a higher retirement age for women (also known as the WASPI campaign).

So the fight for equal pay which affects thousands of low paid women across Glasgow ought to be right up their street and I think it would be perfectly reasonable to ask local MSPs and MPs:
  1. What are MSPs and MPs doing and saying publicly to support their local constituents in the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council?
  2. Do MSPs and MPs support the demand that Glasgow City Council ought to 'open the books' and explain the pay arrangements that were put in place following the WPBR in 2006/07?
Now that would do for starters and as MSPs and MPs are adept at getting the press and media involved, this will obviously help turn the heat up on Glasgow City Council in the run-up to the local council elections on 4 May 2017.

More to follow soon, but in the meantime here's a handy list of names and email addresses.

Keep me posted and I'll share what people have to say on the blog site (without mentioning any personal details, of course).

Remember, many hands make light work - so go to it, get your arse in gear Glasgow!

Glasgow MSPs (Scottish Parliament)

Glasgow MPs (Westminster Parliament)

  

Glasgow and Equal Pay (25/04/17)


Another Glasgow MSP has been in touch with a message of support in the fight for equal pay with Labour-run Glasgow City Council - Bill Kidd the SNP member for Glasgow Anniesland.


Dear Mark,

Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay 

Thanks very much for contacting me again on this extremely important issue and my apologies for not being back to you sooner, where I had started to reply but it was sitting in a Draft-format.

‘With 5,000 of the Glasgow City Council workforce having been found in favour of by the Court of Session and with the Scottish Government having spoken out on behalf of this years-long injustice being resolved, I expect that GCC will, along with all Scottish Local Authorities, stop shamefully wasting time and get on with paying the money due to these hard-working public servants.’

All best wishes,


Bill


Bill Kidd 
MSP for Glasgow Anniesland

Image result for bill kidd msp + images

  


From: Mark Irvine [mailto:markirvine@compuserve.com]
Sent: 18 April 2017 09:16
To: Kidd B (Bill), MSP <Bill.Kidd.msp@parliament.scot>
Subject: Fwd: Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay

Dear Bill

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


Mark 

Glasgow and Equal Pay (13/04/17)


My own local MSP John Mason was first 'out of the starting blocks' in responding to my recent email about the fight for equal pay with Labour-run Glasgow City Council. 

Here is what John had to say:

Thanks Mark

When I was a councillor in Glasgow (up to 2008) the Equal Pay dispute was on the agenda and it is incredibly disappointing that it has still not been settled.

I sit on the Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee and we are currently conducting an inquiry into the Gender Pay Gap. It is clear that it is not just that a man and a woman doing the same job must be paid the same wage, but that women must have equal opportunities for promotion and not be disadvantaged for taking career breaks. Also sectors which are dominated by women should not be paid less than sectors dominated by men.

Obviously certain questions arise if extra money has to be found to pay the women who have lost out. Will Glasgow have to find matching savings by cutting other services? However it is to be done, I would urge a settlement of this dispute and that all Council staff be treated equally.

Sincerely



John


John Mason

MSP for Glasgow Shettleston

Image result for john mason msp + images

Now the Scottish Government has previously allowed local councils to additional 'borrowing consents' to meet their equal pay obligations although, as far as I know, no Labour-controlled councils have ever taken this offer up, certainly not the big players in Glasgow and Lanarkshire.

Presumably because they would have to 'open the books' and explain what their spending priorities have been all these years which I imagine they wouldn't take too kindly to with an SNP Government in charge at Holyrood.

In ant event, John Mason has got things off to a good start - let's hope more MSPs and MPs follow suit in the days ahead.

  

Glasgow and Equal Pay (15/04/17)


Another two of Glasgow's politicians have been in touch over the fight for equal pay with the City Council - Ivan McKee the MSP for Glasgow Provan and Patrick Grady the Westminster MP for Glasgow North.

The SNP group has indeed made a manifesto commitment about equal pay which I'll post on the blog in the next day or two.

In the meantime here is what Ivan McKee and Patrick Grady had to say.

Dear Mark

Thank you for your email.

Like Councillor Susan Aitken I too find the handling of the equal pay issue by the current City council to be disgraceful.

I welcome the commitment by the SNP group on the Council to bring this issue to a speedy and satisfactory resolution after 4th May.

Best regards


Ivan


Ivan McKee
MSP for Glasgow Provan

Image result for ivan mckee msp + images


Thanks Mark.  

I fully support the statement by Susan Aitken and the SNP Council Group’s pledge to 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 the coming Council term.

Patrick 


Patrick Grady 
MP for Glasgow North
Image result for patrick grady mp + images

  

First Minister and Equal Pay (27/04/17)


Nicola Sturgeon has a lot on her plate at the moment, not least because Nicola is Scotland's First Minister as well as the MSP for Glasgow Southside.

Nonetheless Nicola has made her position on equal pay clear and the focus now shifts to next Thursday when the people of Glasgow will decide who is going to run the City Council for the next four years.

  


Dear Mark

Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay

Thanks for your email.

I associate myself entirely with Cllr Aitken's comments. An SNP administration of GCC would seek to resolve and settle all outstanding equal pay claims within the next term of the council.

Best wishes



Nicola 

Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Glasgow Southside

Glasgow - Court of Session (26/04/17)


A reader asks what further legal steps are open to Glasgow City Council following the appeal hearing which taking place this week and next at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Well in theory the City Council could appeal again to the UK Supreme Court, but this would depend on exactly what the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, says in deciding the case and handing down its judgment.

If the City Council were to appeal again, Action 4 Equality Scotland would also fight the case all the way to the UK Supreme Court, but another big factor will be the local council elections on 4th May 2017 of course.

Because unlike the Labour Party which currently runs the City Council, the SNP have said that they wish to see a negotiated and fair settlement of all the outstanding equal pay claims in Glasgow. 

For reasons best known to itself the Labour Group in Glasgow has failed to show any leadership over equal pay and just like neighbouring Labour councils in North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire, they have fought the issue every step the way.

So I hope Labour gets a well deserved kicking on polling day next Thursday.  

  


Glasgow and Equal Pay (21/04/17)



Sandra White is the latest MSP to get in touch over the ongoing equal pay dispute with Glasgow City Council - having raised the issue recently via a question in the Scottish Parliament. 

Dear Mark

Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay

I asked the following question in the Scottish Parliament the other day which represents my support and views on the matter.

Equal Pay (Local Authorities)

8. Sandra White (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Government what measures are in place to ensure that there is equal pay for local authority staff across Scotland. (S5O-00794)

The Equality Act 2010 requires that women should be paid the same as men for doing the same or equivalent work. Local authorities, as employers, are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the 2010 act, and we expect all Scottish local authorities to comply with their legal obligations.

I urge councils that still have to settle outstanding equal pay cases to do so quickly, so that people are not waiting even longer following their loss of income.
Sandra White: The minister will know that the dispute on equal pay with 5,000 employees of Glasgow City Council has moved to the Court of Session on appeal, after the Employment Appeal Tribunal found in favour of the claimants. Does she agree that the council must stand by its promise to reach agreement over post-job evaluation pay arrangements and deliver pay equality for all those people?

Angela Constance: I am sure that the member understands that it would be inappropriate for me to comment on individual cases or an on-going legal matter.

Let me say very plainly that equal pay is not a matter of choice. It is a legal requirement for all employers, including local authorities. The Government and I have been consistently robust and public in our criticism of local authorities that are taking excessive time to settle equal pay claims. Some cases go back more than a decade, and the excessive delays are entirely unacceptable. We are right to expect local authorities and all public authorities to lead by example on something as fundamental as equal pay. I reiterate that local authorities must settle their claims and that they must do so soon.

If you require anything further please let me know.

Kind regards


Sandra White
MSP for Glasgow Kelvin


  


Glasgow MSPs and MPs (28/04/17)


Carol Monaghan is the MP for Glasgow North West and makes clear her support for  the winds of change to blow through the City Council at the local elections on 4th May 2017.

  




Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay

Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding equal pay claims in Glasgow City Council.

This serious issue affects thousands of employees, particularly women in lower paid posts, and it is deeply disappointing that it has been allowed to run for such a considerable length of time. The handling of the matter by the current Labour administration in Glasgow City Counil has been unacceptable.

I fully support Councillor Susan Aitken’s statement and welcome the SNP Group’s manifesto commitment to settle all outstanding equal pay claims within the Council term.

I will continue to follow this issue over the coming weeks and months.

Kind regards,



Carol

Carol Monaghan
Member of Parliament for Glasgow North West

Image result for carol monaghan mp + images

Glasgow and Equal Pay


A group of Home Carers readers from the south side of Glasgow went along to see their local MP Stewart McDonald to seek his support in the ongoing fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council.

As you'd expect Stewart agreed to take up their case and quickly fired off a letter to the Labour leader of the council, Cllr Frank McAveety, and here's what he had to say.

Frank McAveety
Leader
Glasgow City Council

Dear Frank

I received a deputation of constituents who work for Cordia on Friday 24th March highlighting their continuing grievance with Glasgow City Council and Cordia over the implementation of equal pay for female employees within the service.

The futile attempt of previous administrations to hive off equal pay responsibility though the creation of arms length external organisations such as Cordai has been exposed for what is was, an abdication of responsibility by the administration.

This is a matter that has been well documented and contested in the courts, all to the workers favour.

I am sure that you will agree with me that this matter now needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency, and one that ultimately Glasgow City Council needs to act upon.

This is a longstanding, historical injustice that needs to be righted and as Leader of Glasgow City Council it is incumbent on you to right the wrong actions of previous administrations on this issue.

Yours sincerely


Stewart McDonald 
Member of Parliament for Glasgow South
Image result for stewart mcdonald mp + images

Now I don't expect Frank will respond because the Labour Group leader is running scared at the moment and declined my invitation to write a piece of the blog site explaining his party's position.

But good for Stewart McDonald, I say, because he's getting stuck in and highlighting the issues on behalf of his local constituents. 

So let's hope more Glasgow's MPs and MSPs get behind the campaign to persuade the City Council to face up to its obligations over equal pay.


  


Glasgow MSPs and MPs (29/04/17)


Alison Thewliss is my local MP and she's also the latest Glasgow politician to send a message of support about the fight for equal pay with the Labour-run City Council.

A number of MSPs and MPs have mentioned the SNP Group leader in their responses and so I am reposting the article Cllr Susan Aitken wrote for the blog site at the end of March.

Regular readers will recall that the Labour council leader, Cllr Frank McAveety, failed to respond my invitation to explain or defend his party's position.


  


Dear Mark, 


Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay

Many thanks for contacting me regarding the outstanding equal pay claims for female employees at Glasgow City Council.

I fully endorse the comments of my colleague Cllr Susan Aitken on the ongoing equal pay claim dispute. It remains deeply disgraceful that thousands of women in Glasgow are still waiting for a resolution to their equal pay claims. Should the SNP form the administration of Glasgow City Council after next week’s council election’s, I will fully support my colleague's efforts to resolve outstanding equal pay claims at the council. I also back the positive measures outlined in her blog post to improve employee engagement and promote fair work practices across all areas of the Council.

Best wishes,



Alison 

Alison Thewliss
MP for Glasgow Central
Image result for alison thewliss mp + images



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 MSPs and MPs (02/05/17)



Polling day for the local council elections is on Thursday (4th May) and another Glasgow politician has been in touch with a message of support regarding the long standing fight for equal pay with the City Council.

"Glasgow City Council under its longstanding (and hopefully soon outgoing) Labour administration long ago agreed to settle equal pay claims across the council family of workforces. 

"The fact is that despite its rhetoric on equality Labour have failed miserably to honour the pledge it made to women workers to give equal pay. 

"I am very glad that Cllr Susan Aitken if she is the leader of a SNP City Government has pledged to immediately resolve all outstanding equal pay claims in agreement with the trade unions and do it in such a way as to usher in a  new era of better industrial relations between the council and its workforce. 

"Women need this - if we are ever to Close the 13% Gender Pay Gap in Scotland - the role of the Glasgow City Government will be central in setting that good example across the council family and the public and private sectors."

Anne McLaughlin
MP for Glasgow North East

Image result for anne mclaughlin mp

As before I am re-posting the article written by Cllr Susan Aitken for the blog site because this long-running dispute could be easily resolved if the City Council agreed to put the facts about its WPBR pay arrangements on the table.

So a commitment to more 'open, honest and transparent' local government is very welcome and no more than the citizens of Glasgow deserve.

  


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