Monday, 26 June 2017

Glasgow Equal Pay News



I get lots of emails daily basis, but some are more upsetting than others such as this enquiry from a former Home Carer in Glasgow. 

Dear Mark,

I was given your email address today by a lady who is a retired carer.

She said l may be eligible to claim compensation for the time l was employed by Glasgow City Council. I was contracted to work weekends and l did so for around 18yrs.

When l started there offices were in Crookston and then moved to Glasgow and I worked in Clarkston, Muirend, Netherlee and Shawlands.

l finished working in home care around 2009 due to increased stress in the job affecting my health. No one from the council or the unions ever contacted me about the compensation that was due to female employees.

I am now in my 65th year and recently recovered from breast cancer.

I would be grateful if you could take on my case as security is a good thing to have at a time when your feeling vulnerable. 

l do hope this is not out of order for me to contact you.

Yours Sincerely,



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Dear A

I'm afraid that you would not be able to raise a claim at this stage because you left Glasgow City Council's employment more than 5 years ago.

I have explained the situation in more details on my blog site - www.action4equalityscotland.blogspot.com - but essentially there is a time limit involved which means that claimants only have five years in which to register a claim which, in your case, expired in 2014.

I am very sorry not to have been of more help on this occasion.

Kind regards


Mark


Can I still claim even if I left the Council's employment some time ago?

Yes, following a recent decision by the UK Supreme Court it is now possible to make claims in the Sheriff Court and then have them transferred over to the Employment Tribunal. 


In Scotland the maximum period claimants can go back is 5 years.

So if you left the council more than five years ago then you will not be able to claim. There is also a slightly higher initial fee to be paid by going down the Sheriff Court route, but this will be paid upfront by A4ES and recovered from claimants' settlements.

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Thank you Mark for getting back to me. 

I've never had anything I didn't work hard for. 

It's just galling knowing how much l did  do in the job above and beyond the call....so l wont be retiring any time soon 

😉

Regards,


A

Best wishes


Now what really gets my goat is that the City Council and trade unions in Glasgow kept all these women workers in the dark for years, quite deliberately, and it was only when Action 4 Equality arrived on the scene (in 2005) that people started to get the message about the big pay differences between traditional male and female jobs.

Even then the trade unions joined forces with senior council management to ensure that employees received poor '1st Wave' settlements and much less than they were entitled to under 'Equal Pay - Compensation Payments'.

The message about registering a claim clearly didn't reach every council employee which is why people like 'A' got left behind.

But the curious thing to note is that trade unions don't behave this way when they have a Political Fund Ballot, or in an election for general secretary or an industrial action ballot - in which case every single member is involved in the process.

Yet when it comes to equal pay the unions, in many cases, have left people to fight for themselves. 


  


DIY and Equal Pay (02/03/14)




A number of readers have been in touch about the post on advice to union members over equal pay - from around the country and not just South Lanarkshire.

A typical comment is that their union is not interested and tells people they should have registered an equal pay claim - that this was their individual responsibility not the union's acting collectively.

Now this is a very odd stance to take if you have ask me, because when trade unions try to sign up new members they make a positive case about of the benefits of union membership and actively persuade people to join.

In other words it's not a spectator sport, so where did this DIY approach to equal pay come from all of a sudden?

And if you think about it for a minute it's a completely barmy attitude for a collective body like a trade union to take - because unions don't behave this way when it comes to strike ballots for example.

In a strike ballot every single trade union member is issued with a ballot paper and is encouraged to support whatever dispute is underway - in practice the members' views count and the union is keen to secure their backing, so they pull out the stops even though the law law lays down certain rules as well. 

Likewise when it comes to the Political Fund and union efforts to encourage their members to support the Labour Party, a topical issue at the moment, but again the unions get in there and get their hands dirty - they don't sit on the sidelines.    

So how is it possible to say, with a straight face at least, that when it comes to equal pay the members are (or were) all on their own?

If you ask me, that sounds terribly odd, inconsistent and unfair.