Monday, 7 August 2017

Glasgow and Equal Pay

Here are some more readers' comments on the role of the trade unions in the fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council.

I absolutely agree without mark and a4e we would have got nothing ! When this all started the collective unions were doing nothing except discouraging members from claiming their equal pay then when mark and his team were getting results they were forced to follow suit ! So don't give up as long as you've got Mark Irvine on side you will get what is rightfully yours.


Couldn't agree more wouldn't trust anyone else or believe what the unions tell us now


I am with unison and Hav been told I cannot get any one else to fight my case apart from them till it's all over and done with!!x


The first comment is absolutely correct because when A4ES first appeared on the scene back in 2005 the local trade unions in Glasgow were actively encouraging their members not to register equal pay claims with the Employment Tribunals.

Instead the unions were urging members to accept very low value settlements which were capped at a maximum of £9,000 - with the agreement of the trade unions although the workforce, as I recall, didn't fully understand the situation at the time.

The unions did not turn up to the big, set piece Acceptance Meetings, for example, which were attended by senior management and 'independent' lawyers who had been recruited, briefed and paid for by the City Council.

Since 2005 the trade unions have been shamed and embarrassed into acting as more than just 'cheerleaders' for the council employers who have often just repackaged the same discriminatory pay arrangements that existed before 2005. 


Glasgow - Readers' Comments (02/08/17)

Here's an email and a message of support from an employee of North Lanarkshire Council to those still fighting for equal pay in Glasgow. 

Can I just say, I am an NLC worker, we have now had our equal pay sorted,with a big help from A4ES, who kept us updated and honestly I can say on behalf of a lot of workies, don't know what we would have done without Mark and the gang,

So keep checking in girls, keep fighting,and most of all we were paid back to 2007!!!! 

It's a slow process,but equality will BE YOURS!!!


Self praise is no praise, as they say.

So it's good to hear that people in North Lanarkshire Council appreciate the big difference Action 4 Equality Scotland made in the fight for equal pay in that particular council.


Glasgow - Readers' Comments 

Here's a 'biting' comment I received recently from a regular reader of the blog who also happens to be a member of the GMB union in Glasgow.

GMB should be refunding all women 10 years plus contributions for doing nothing for them in all that time. 

In fact they have done nothing for me in 27 years.


Sometimes the truth hurts and as far as equal pay is concerned the local trade unions in Glasgow City Council have an awful lot to answer for, if you ask me.


Glasgow Equal Pay News (17/06/17)

I promised the other day to share information on the blog site about the 'Equal Pay Compensation Payments' agreed between Glasgow City Council and the local trade unions back in 2005.

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.


Glasgow Equal Pay News (19/06/17)

Here is some more information about the 'Equal Pay - Compensation Payments' agreed between Glasgow City Council and the local trade unions back in 2005.

As regular readers know, these payments were highly controversial in a variety of ways:
  • Payments were capped in a completely arbitrary fashion, without a proper explanation, and a maximum ceiling of  £9,000 imposed
  • Pupil Support Assistants, Child Development Officers and others received widely varying, often derisory payments - again without a full explanation of the differences in pay with male comparator jobs
  • People were credited with contracted hours only - no credit whatsoever was given for overtime working which was very prevalent (and still is) in some parts of the Council
  • Many groups were deliberately excluded  for these payments despite having perfectly valid claims - more to follow on this issue shortly 
Under the 'Questions and Answers' section the document says "Staff can also contact their Trade Union to ask for further guidance" reinforcing the message that this whole business was carefully worked out and agreed with the local unions.

More to follow on the 'excluded groups' - so watch this space.


Glasgow Equal Pay News (19/06/17)

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:
  • Clerical staff in council offices
  • Clerical staff in council schools
  • Male workers in non-bonus earning jobs
  • School Janitors (despite being on high Manual Worker grades)
  • Special Needs Drivers (even though they had to hold special licences)
  • All City Council employees with less than 1 year's service - despite having claims worth up to several thousand pounds (depending on hours worked)
I find it interesting that the trade unions bitterly criticise the government over workers being denied 'employment rights' until they complete a year's service - they (rightly in my view) campaign for employee rights from Day 1.

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.