Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Glasgow Equal Pay News

As I've said on the blog site many times, the unions in Glasgow have given their members some really poor advice in relation to equal pay over the years,

Here's what one union member had to say about his union advising non-bonus earning male employees that they had no chance whatsoever of pursuing successful equal pay claims because they weren't women - which was complete nonsense, of course.  

"We special needs drivers were told we would have to 'grow tits' to have any chance of a claim. This was told to us by the T&G rep. Needless to say, he ended up the TIT. My £20,000 check from the council proved that, don't listen to the rep, contact Mark Irvine."


I recall speaking to a group of school janitors in Glasgow who were given similar advice, in similarly boorish language, by a union rep from the GMB - and the members involved were really hacked off at having lost out through no fault of their own.

As regular readers, know the GMB has restricted its members claims in Glasgow to only three years and the union is not part of the A4ES-led challenge to Glasgow City Council's WPBR pay arrangements. 


Local Heroes (13/06/17)

If this article by Cat Stewart in the Evening Times is anything to go by, I have one or two admirers out there in the 'airts and pairts' of Glasgow. 

Now I don't know about being a hero because the people who showed real courage if you ask me, were the women who stood up to their employers, but throughout my life I have always taken the side of the 'little guy' when it comes to a scrap with the 'big guy'.

And the long fight for equal pay is a good example.

Because Scotland's powerful local councils betrayed a very low paid, largely female workforce, after agreeing to sweep away years of pay discrimination, while the politically connected trade unions looked the other way and failed to stand up for their members' interests.   

So when this is all over we must get together in a suitable Glasgow hostelry to celebrate over a few drinks.


Women in Glasgow's equal pay row thank their 'unsung hero'

By Catriona Stewart @LadyCatHT - The Evening Times

Women in Glasgow's equal pay row thank their 'unsung hero'

WOMEN celebrating winning a £100 million equal pay claim have paid tribute to the “unsung hero” who supported them.

Glasgow City Council’s equal pay wrangle has gone on for more than a decade but a Court of Session ruling last week now means thousands of women can make claims against the authority.

Some 6000 of these women have been championed by former senior trade union figure Mark Irvine.

Now they are lining up to thank him for the work he has done on their behalves.

Jackie Brennan has been a carer for 17 years and said: “Mark has been very much more supportive than the unions.

“I’m so grateful to him that I can’t find the right words.

“If we had this money sooner it would have made a huge difference. People were doing overtime for a long, long time - that’s time we could have spent with our families.”

The women involved in the equal pay claim are those in jobs looking after the residents of the city: carers, caterers and cleaners.

It was found that men in manual jobs were being paid more than female staff in jobs requiring the same or greater skill levels and were entitled to bonuses the women were not.

The claim goes back to 1999 when the 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement was struck between Scotland’s council employers and the unions.

Not all councils rectified pay discrepancies with Glasgow City Council dragging its heels the longest.

In 2005 the council offered lump sum payments to women - but still did not change their pay.

Mr Irvine views the situation at that time as women being “bought off” so they would not pursue their quest for equal pay further.

He said: “If the unions had been doing their jobs properly at that time we would not have taken more than a decade to get to this point.”

Donna Cassidy, who has worked as a carer for 15 years, had been in the job for 18 months when she first heard about the equal pay claim.

She was one of the women who signed a lump sum deal in 2005 - but then found out she could be entitled to equal pay and joined with Action 4 Equality Scotland, run by Mark.

Mrs Cassidy said: “My son was only a year old at the time and I was busy with him. You would finish your shift and then go home for your day to begin again. I was too tired and busy to understand all the details.

“This time I feel I know everything because of Mark and how he has kept us informed. I cannot thank him enough.”

New council leader Susan Aitken said her administration accepts the need to address the fact female staff are excluded from some salary schemes.

Mr Irvine said: “People will get the recognition they deserve. The best laid plans of people in the council to avoid paying out this money have all come unstuck.

“My mum worked in these kind of jobs all her life then she was supported by home carers before she died.”

Frances Stojilkovic, who was a carer and is now a coordinator has 14 years service. She said: “The news last week was amazing.

“It’s also very sad as there are colleagues I have worked with all these years who have passed away.

“Mark is amazing and if it wasn’t for him fighting we wouldn’t have won the victory.

“Mark deserves the credit for this win - if it wasn’t for him fighting we would have nothing.”

In response to the praise for the women he has helped, Mr Irvine said: “I will leave people to make up their own minds.

“I am just doing what I have done all my life: stand up and not let the little guys have the wool pulled over their eyes by the big guys.

“There are stories that would make you weep. One woman has terminal cancer now, many have died.

“They could have spend this money on their families.

“It is damnable that people could have been treated this way.”