Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Glasgow and Equal Pay

Here are some very interesting figures which highlight the gender breakdown of WCD payments amongst male and female employees of Glasgow City Council.

                            Points           Male                      Female

Grade 0        Less that 45         3725 (44.92%)      12429 (65.25%)
Grade 1           45 to 54             1719 (20.73%)        4805 (25.23%)
Grade 2           55 to 63             1792 (21.61%)        1754 (   9.21%)
Grade 3           64 to 72               834 (10.06%)            59 (   0.31%)
Grade 4           73 to 79               201 (  2.42%)              1 (   0.01%)
Grade 5            0ver 80                 21   (0.25%)              0 (   0.00%)

As readers can see for themselves despite the two thirds of of the City Council's workforce being female, the rules of the WCD have been developed in a way that favours traditional male jobs.

So two thirds of women's jobs get a big fat zero from the WCD scheme which is similar to the way the NSWP payments work.   

As regular rears will recall from the posts below the NSWP scheme results in more than 80% of female employees receiving no payment.

So the 1% increase in WCD and NSWP payments which was being hailed as a great success the other day by the GMB actually benefits more male jobs than female jobs - even though the majority of the workforce are women.

Sounds crazy I know, but so does the fact that the local trade unions in Glasgow City Council agreed these new pay arrangements when the WPBR (Workforce Pay and Benefits Review) was introduced back in 2006/07.


Glasgow and Equal Pay (13/07/17)

As I said yesterday, a kind reader from Glasgow sent me a very strange letter from the GMB in which the union talks up the latest pay offer from Cordia, as if it were the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Now the Cordia pay offer has the same basic elements as the one proposed by COSLA for all Scottish local government employees, namely:
  • A flat rate increase of £350 for employees paid up to £35,000 based on a 37 hour week
  • A 1% increase for employees paid above £35,000
  • A commitment to use the Scottish Local Government Living wage of £8.51 as the minimum level for all pay and allowances
But the GMB goes on to bang the drum about the latest pay offer because Cordia is apparently proposing, in addition to the COSLA pay award, a 1% increase in WCD (Working Context and Demand) Payments and NSWP (Non Standard Working Pattern Hours) Payments which are peculiar to Glasgow - being part of the City Council's WPBR pay scheme.

Now while the GMB describes this as "the first decent increase on the basic pay for over a decade" the reality is that the offer is still worth less than 2% for Home Support Workers, for example, which really means a cut in basic pay year on year with inflation running at 3%.

To add insult to injury all the male comparator (former bonus earning) groups within the City Council are to receive the same flat rate increase, so the pay gap between male and female jobs will remain largely untouched.

So if you ask me, as far as the fight for equal pay is concerned the Cordia pay offer is a big disappointment because it does nothing to bring women's pay into line with the pay of their male comparators - which is what the fight for equal pay is all about.

The GMB letter goes on to highlight the 1% increase in NSWP and WCD payments, yet fails to point out, for example, that over 80% of female council employees receive no NSWP payment (a zero payment) because they do not work 37 hours a week.

In other words a 1% increase on NSWP and WCD payments does nothing for most women workers in Cordia who make up more than 70% of the workforce. 

Seems like the employers and the trade unions have learned nothing over all these years if you ask me.

Because if they were really trying to close the pay gap, they would concentrate on the bottom of the pay ladder which continues to be dominated by a variety of low paid women's jobs, of course.

The reality is that the WPBR pay arrangements (introduced in 2006/07) favoured traditional male jobs and the unions and Cordia are now compounding the problem by increasing NSWP and WCD payments which mainly benefit these male dominated jobs.

The reader who sent me the GMB letter asks if this new pay offer will have any impact on her equal pay claim and the answer to that has to be - not much, if at all.

Because any slight benefit from the flat rate £350 payment (for 37 hours) has to be offset against the increase in NSWP and WCD payments which actually increase the the pay gap between male and female jobs.

I'll have more to say on Glasgow's WPBR pay scheme (of which the NSWP and WCD are part) in the days ahead, but regular readers will be recall that although the unions are now carrying 'foul', they agreed to the introduction of the WPBR arrangements in the first place.

So watch this space.   


Glasgow and Equal Pay (17/07/17)

Here are three posts from the blog site archive which explain the workings of the NSWP (Non Standard Working Pattern) payments which form part of Glasgow City Council's Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR).

In the Table below readers can see for themselves that over 80% of women employees in the City Council received Grade 0 - which equals a big, fat zero payment under the NSWP.

Now if you ask me this truly astonishing, especially when you consider the largely female composition of the City Council's workforce. 

Yet the local trade unions in Glasgow agreed to this 'cockamamy' scheme back in 2006/07 even though the 'rules' of the scheme penalise any employee working less than 37 hours.

And surprise, surprise the vast majority of City Council employees who work less than 37 hours are women, of course.

More to follow soon - so watch this space.


Glasgow Pay Arrangements (06/04/17)

A Home Carer from Glasgow has been in touch to say that she (and many others) work a 50 hour week and a 20 hour week the week week, so why don't they qualify for a NSWP payment in Week 1 at least?

Now that's a good question because fairness and common sense would suggest that such a shift working arrangement would qualify for an NSWP payment at Level B for at least half the year, perhaps more if overtime hours were also taken into account.

But I'm pretty sure that Glasgow City Council interprets these 'cockamamy rules' in a way that is to the disadvantage of Home Carers by treating the 2 weeks as a 35-hour average so that the staff concerned receive no payment. 

My own view is that the NSWP working hours payment ought to be paid on a 'pro rata' basis like other pay related benefits such as sick, holiday pay and sick pay - that way all Home Carers on a 35 hour working week would receive 35/37ths (or 95%) of a Level B NSWP payment.

The trade unions should be on to this as well if you ask me, because you don't have to work 37 hours before becoming eligible to join a union or to take part in a union strike ballot.

The real problem is that Glasgow City Council has just invented these 'cockamamy rules' which are impossible to justify as they go against the spirit and letter of the 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement which is based on equal treatment for part-time workers.


Cockamamy Council 'Rules' (05/04/17)

As regular readers know, Action 4 Equality Scotland is challenging various aspects of Glasgow's WPBR (Workforce Pay and Benefits Review) which the City Council introduced back in 2006/07.

One of the most controversial aspects of the WPBR scheme is over additional payments that are made under the heading of NSWP (Non Standard Working Pattern) payments.

I wrote previously on the blog site about how the Glasgow's predominantly female jobs seem to fare badly under the WPBR compared to their male colleagues, and this is also true when it comes to NSWP payments. 

Because one of the NSWP 'rules' is a requirement for employees to work 37 hours before they qualify for 7 'working hours' NSWP points.

Now points mean prizes under the WPBR and 7 NSWP points means that a 37 hour a week employee qualifies for Level B Payment which was worth £800 a year in 2006 - almost £10,000 over 12 years - and a whole lot more than people have been receiving in terms of annual pay increases, for example.

So who made up this barmy 'rule' and on what kind of twisted logic is this NSWP rule based?

Because it's completely crazy if you ask me - people don't have to work 37 hours to qualify for holiday pay, sick pay, or maternity pay - for example.

And can it really be a coincidence that the vast majority of Glasgow City Council employees who work less than 37 hours a week are women? 

Curiously all of Glasgow's hardworking Home Carers were placed on 35 hour a week contracts some years ago, so they miss out on a Level B Payment even though they work 95% of a 37 hour working week.

The 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement was supposed to ensure equal treatment for part-time workers, but that seems not to have happened in Glasgow where mysterious rules have been invented (by whom?) to exclude the council's lowest paid workers.

As far as I know the trade unions in Glasgow haven't called or even threatened a single strike to defend the rights of thousands of part-time workers affected by this cockamamy 'rule' which is a complete disgrace, if you ask me.

Because if points are to be awarded for hours worked, they should be pro-rated just like all other payments and benefits - not deliberately designed in such a way that treats women workers much less favourably than their male colleagues. 

No wonder the Labour leader of Glasgow City Council can't defend his party's position over equal pay, but readers are invited to drop Frank McAveety a note by email or Twitter and let him know what you think.

Email -
Twitter - @FMcAveety


Glasgow's Pay Arrangements (02/04/17)

The workforce at Glasgow City Council is predominantly female - around 70% of its 27,000 or so employees are women.

So, all things being equal, you would expect women to occupy around 70% or of each job category and for women to be involved in 70% or so of all work related issues - from sickness absence and disciplinary hearings to interviews for a promoted post.

Unless, of course, there's a gender based explanation such as maternity or paternity leave - or there's some other factor at play such as discrimination, for example.

Here's an interesting table which shines a light on the payments Glasgow City Council staff receive for doing shift work - the Non-Standard Working Pattern (NSWP) part of Glasgow's Workforce Pay and Benefits review (WPBR). 

NSWP Percentage breakdown Grade 1 to 7
% of Males by grade in receipt of NSWP
% of females by grade in receipt of NSWP
In receipt of NSWP
Grand Total
% of All employees
% of employees in receipt of NSWP by gender
% of Gender in receipt of NSWP
Example: Total Female in receipt of NSWP divided by the overall total of both men and Woman in receipt of NSWP
Example: Total percentage of Female in receipt of NSWP divided by the total number of females employed

The figures are based on the WPBR in 2007 and number of things jump straight out to me:
  • Over 80% of women don't qualify for a NSWP payment because they score zero (0) points on the City Council's scoring system 
  • Far fewer women (19%) than men (60%) qualify for an NSWP payment even though women make up a big 70% majority of the City Council's workforce
  • Over 50% of male workers receive an NSWP payment at the higher paying B, C and D bands
  • Yet only 12% of women fall into the B,C and D bands.
Now I don't know who made up Glasgow's cockamamy scoring system, but if you ask me they have made up the rules in a way that punishes and discriminates against the jobs done by women. 

In the next few days I'll publish more information about the NSWP 'rules' and scoring system which I imagine will be of great interest to lots of readers in Glasgow.

As far as I know the unions in Glasgow have not called any strikes or even threatened industrial action over the operation of the NSWP scheme.