A number of readers have been in touch to say that the local Unison branch in Glasgow City Council is holding a series of equal pay meetings starting next week - week beginning Monday 10 July 2017.
Now the current regional secretary of Unison in Scotland is a chap called Mike Kirby who used to be a 'big cheese' in the local Glasgow branch back in 2005 - when equal pay first became a big issue thanks to Action 4 Equality Scotland, of course.
So I hope Mike will be heading back to his old stomping ground to where some of the bodies are buried, so to speak, and here are a few topical questions Unison members might like to ask of Mike and their local union representatives:
- Why did Unison agree to the arbitrary cap on equal pay settlements back in 2005 which resulted in very poor offers of compensation - lower even than the £13,500 figure proposed by COSLA (the council employers' body)?
- Why did Unison agree to exclude groups such as Clerical Officers from the Equal Pay Compensation Scheme?
- Why did Unison agree to exclude non-bonus earning male workers such as School Janitors and Special Needs Drivers from the Equal Pay Compensation Scheme?
- Why did Unison agree to much lower and insulting compensation payments to groups such as Classroom Assistants?
- Why did Unison agree to exclude overtime from the Equal Pay Compensation Scheme when so many people, especially the lowest paid, relied on additional overtime hours?
- Why did Unison not attend the 'acceptance meetings' in November/December 2005 and provide its members with its own legal and other advice on the Council's Equal Pay settlement offers?
- Why did Unison not threaten strike action to bring the pay of the women into line with their male comparators?
- Why did Unison only threaten strike action to defend the former bonus earnings of male dominated 'red circled' jobs?
- Would Unison behave the same way again today the the clocks were turned back and if so, why should union members have any trust in Unison in 2017?
Glasgow Equal Pay News
I said the other day that I would explain more about the staff groups who were deliberately excluded (by the City Council and local trade unions) from receiving 'Equal Pay - Compensation Payments' back in 2005.
So here you are:
Yet when it comes to the fight for 'Equal Pay' the local trade unions ganged up with senior management to deny compensation to any council employee with less than 1 year's service.
Amazing - and completely hypocritical into the bargain!
Not just that, of course, because the unions agreed with the decision to exclude Admin & Clerical staff from compensation payments and then wrongly advised hundreds of non-bonus earning male workers, e.g. Janitors and Special Needs Drivers, that Equal Pay was only for women!
No wonder 80% of equal pay claimants in Glasgow City Council are pursuing their cases with Action 4 Equality Scotland.
Glasgow Equal Pay News (19/06/17)
As regular readers know, these payments were highly controversial in a variety of ways:
More to follow on the 'excluded groups' - so watch this space.
Glasgow Equal Pay News (17/06/17)
So here's an extract from an official document that the City Council published at the time which confirms that senior management and the unions really were working 'hand in glove'.
"Equal Pay - Compensation Payments"
"What is Glasgow City Council doing about Equal Pay?
"The Council, in partnership with the Trade Unions, has begun the process of tackling financial inequality in the workplace through the offer of compensation payments.
"All staff who are being offered a compensation payment are being provided with information about what the Council and Trade Unions have negotiated.
"Remember: Both the Council and Trade Unions are working jointly."
Over the next week or so I'll share further extracts from this document which will explain how the council's lowest paid workers were effectively 'duped' into accepting very low offers of settlement - when what they really deserved was equal pay with their male comparators.
As I said the other day, I am happy to discuss and debate these issues with the local trade unions in Glasgow.