Monday, 3 July 2017

More Readers' Comments

Here are some more readers' comments in response to my recent posts about the GMB and the role of the trade unions more generally in the long fight for equal pay in Glasgow.

The 'local trade unions' involved in this would have made my Grandpa's blood boil....he walked with John mother would have been mad at their 'in house' maneuvers with the 'Corporation' my wife went to the 'private solicitors'...[in another area but same story]...she received her 'equal pay' and retired over 5 years ago her friends who 'stuck with the union' are still waiting....


This is starting to make much more sense as the blogs are appearing on A4ES ... Thank you Mark


I left Unison for same reason. We seem to get shafted right left and centre



Glasgow and Equal Pay (01/07/17)

Here are some of the readers' comments I've received in response my recent post in which I set the record straight about the role of the trade unions in the long fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council.

I was advised 12yrs ago by GMB that I was not entitled to a claim and I was to keep my mouth shut. So I phoned Action 4 Equality Scotland who took on my claim and got paid what was rightfully mine. Think it's my turn to tell GMB to keep their mouths shut.


I left GMB as well paying money for nothing


So did I they take your money and do nothing 


I feel totally deflated by the GMBs behaviour. I have been a faithful loyal member even drawing members in at points, but I am finished with them, the team they have running the show just now for Cordia are only interested in pleasing the company. I believe they know they are on the slippery slope as anger is growing and rekindling from the original equal pay payout. Just to say I will be doing my application to join A4ES, as I know no matter what the outcome you are fighting for our rights.


Glasgow and Equal Pay (30/06/17)

Here's the letter from the GMB's Gary Smith which I mentioned briefly on the blog site yesterday. 

29th June 2017

Dear GMB Member,

The legal action around Pay Protection / Equal Pay has been long and drawn out. The whole situation with Equal Pay is complex and it is further complicated by the appeal over the Glasgow City Council job evaluation process. As a union we have tried to communicate as best we can on the union's position on the cases.

As you know private solicitors are also involved in the cases against Glasgow City Council. These solicitors are driven by profit. They make money from the claimants they represent. The private solicitors will take money from any settlement. That is not the case with members of GMB Scotland. Every penny GMB Scotland secures for you through our solicitors Thompsons will go to you as an individual. We believe Thompsons are the preeminent Equal Pay lawyers in Scotland that's why we have appointed them to represent your interests.

We understand that some of the private solicitors appear to be making comments about the GMB and the trade unions in general which are causing confusion and concern to our members. GMB Scotland will not be responding to all the comments made by the private solicitors. When we have something we can communicate to our members we will and it will be done in a totally transparent way.

I understand that our staff at GMB Scotland have received a few abusive phone calls. I know this whole issue is frustrating for members but I will not tolerate our staff being abused; they are just workers like everyone else. If anyone feels that their interests would be better served by the private lawyers then they are free transfer their case to them.

Those who are members of GMB Scotland can be assured our lawyers will do all they can to get your equal pay claim resolved as soon as possible. If we need to take action over job evaluation, after the appeal judgement is known, we will. GMB Scotland will also communicate with you in an absolutely open and transparent fashion as and when there is something of substance to say. Above all as a member of GMB Scotland you can be assured that any money due to you will be paid to you, it is not going to line the pockets of fat cat private lawyers.

It should never be forgotten that the responsibility for all the problems with equal pay ultimately lie with Glasgow City Council. It was Glasgow City Council who discriminated against you and spent a fortune of tax payers’ money in the courts trying to defend the indefensible. Thank you for your patience and ongoing support


We hope to have a further communication with members this afternoon. If you have any queries on the above, please feel free to email me on

Yours sincerely

Gary Smith

Gary Smith

GMB Scotland Secretary  


General Secretary: Paul Kenny Acting Regional Secretary: Gary Smith Fountain House, 1/3 Woodside Crescent, Charing Cross, Glasgow G3 7UJ Tel: 0141 332 8641/9501 Fax: 0141 332 4491 -

Now there are so many things wrong with Gary's letter I hardly know where to begin, but let's make start by reminding readers that:
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow kept their low paid women members in the dark for years about the pay differences between male and female jobs
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow agreed with City Council management to 'cap' the Equal Pay Compensation Payments at a maximum of £9,000
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow agreed with City Council management to exclude any overtime working from the Equal Pay Compensation Payments
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow agreed with City Council management to exclude certain categories of employee, e.g. School Janitors, from the Equal Pay Compensation Payments
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow agreed with City Council management to impose an even lower settlement cap (than £9,000) on certain categories of employee, e.g. Classroom Assistants
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow agreed with City Council management to ditch the job evaluation scheme (JES) recommended by the national unions (and COSLA) in favour of an 'in-house' JE scheme and WPBR developed by an external consultant
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow never once threatened strike action to bring the pay of the City's Council's largely female workforce into line with the much higher pay of their bonus earning male comparators 
  • the local trade unions in Glasgow threatened strike action to gain special treatment for the many 'red circled' and former bonus earning jobs (after the WPBR was introduced) - and were given a guarantee in the shape of the Employee Development Commitment (EDC) that   the earnings of these male dominated jobs would be maintained at their pre-WPBR levels
In other words if, as Gary Smith claims, Glasgow City Council was ultimately responsible for this widespread pay discrimination and "spent a fortune of tax payers' money trying to defend the indefensible" - why did the trade unions support senior managers instead standing up for the interests of their lowest paid members? 

I will have more to say on this subject in the days ahead, but if you agree that the GMB is engaged in a shameless attempt to 'rewrite history', then drop me a note as I'll be interested to hear what readers have to say.