Monday, 5 June 2017

Glasgow and Equal Pay


Action 4 Equality Scotland (A4ES) is sending out the following update letter, by email, to all clients in Glasgow.

If you have not already registered an email address with A4ES, you can do so very easily by dropping a note to: enquiries@action4equality.co.uk

Using the internet makes communication so much easier and quicker, but the update letter will also be sent by post to any Glasgow clients who don't have a current email address.

So get online, if you can - and keep spreading the word to friends and co-workers. 


  

The Fight for Equal Pay Glasgow City Council

Lots of readers have been in touch with Action 4 Equality Scotland (A4ES) to ask about the 'next steps' in the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council which was given a huge boost recently with the victory in the Court of Session.

The City Council is now under new management following the local elections on 4 May 2017. The new council leader, Cllr Susan Aitken, has stated publicly that there will be no further appeals.

Next Steps

The Court of Session appeal hearings in Edinburgh considered two main issues:

  • the pay protection arrangements put in place by Glasgow City Council (GCC) following the introduction of its WPBR pay scheme in 2006/07 

  • the job evaluation (JE) side of the WPBR and its component parts - Core Pay, WCD and NSWP - which has been challenged by A4ES

The judgment of the court on 'pay protection' has gone in favour of the claimants and the previous decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal has been upheld - a further decision is now awaited on the job evaluation (JE) aspects of Glasgow's WPBR pay arrangements.

Protection Period Claims

Winning pay protection in the Court of Session means that a further entitlement is now triggered for all existing claimants for the period from 2006/07 onwards - and at least until 2009.

A4ES believes that pay protection claims could extend well beyond 2009 because Glasgow’s arrangements did not stop after just 3 years, as a result of the Council's Employee Development Commitment (EDC).

The EDC gave a guarantee (to male workers only) that the higher earnings of former bonus earning jobs, e.g. Gravediggers, Gardeners etc would be maintained at their previous levels  and without limit of time.

The trade unions threatened strike action to gain this further EDC concession from the Council, but this applied only to the former bonus earning, male comparator jobs.

So thousands of female dominated women jobs lost out including: Home Carers, Cooks, Cleaners, Catering Workers, Clerical Staff, Classroom Assistants etc.

Glasgow's JE Scheme

If the Court of Session upholds the challenge to the JE scheme (WPBR) existing claimants will have further 'second wave' entitlement from 2006/07 to date (i.e. 2017) and also going forward until these cases are finally resolved.

If the Court of Session finds the WPBR to be unsatisfactory and not ‘fit for purpose’, this will opens up a whole new raft of claims for employees who have not registered an equal pay claim up until now. For existing council employees, a newly registered claim would jump back 5 years, in time i.e. to 2012, but could still be very significant.

Former employees may also be able to register new claims by taking action in the Sheriff Court (instead of the Employment Tribunals) which would potentially help thousands of ex-GCC workers who left their employment over the past 5 years without registering an equal pay claim.

A4ES is now prepared to consider lodging new claims on the basis that these will be actively pursued in the event of a favourable judgement from the Court of Session in respect of the City Council's JE and WPBR pay arrangements. 

Waiting until the decision is actually released and its implications assessed will delay the starting date of any new claim. In which case it makes sense for potential claimants to act now and protect their interests.

Settlement Discussions with GCC

A4ES remains willing to enter into settlement discussions with the City Council, but the previous Labour-run administration failed to engage seriously on this issue between August 2016 and January 2017.

Before any serious negotiations can get underway, the City Council would need to ‘open the books', to allow the size and scale of any possible settlement to be fairly and properly assessed.

Up until now the City Council has refused to deliver the pay information to explain fully the workings of the WPBR or, for example, its Employee Development Commitment to former bonus earning workers.

New Claimants in Glasgow

Please help spread the word to potential new claimants - existing clients can assist by sharing the contents of this email with friends and co-workers. The more clients who sign up with A4ES the stronger our negotiating hand becomes with Glasgow City Council which has been dragging its feet over equal pay for years.

The more new clients who join up with A4ES the better, so if you know of anyone who would like to enquire about a new claim. They can now make a claim by one of the following methods.


Yours sincerely


Stefan Cross

NB: keep up to date with all the latest new on Glasgow at action4equalityscotland.blogspot.com