Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Why Glasgow's WPBR Had To Go!



What great news about Glasgow's discredited WPBR finally being put to the sword - now I know it's taken an long time, but be in no doubt that this is a huge victory for the claimants.

A big 'THANK YOU' is due to everyone who played a part in getting the claimants' 'unfit for purpose' message across to Glasgow's councillors, MSPs and MPs - and it just goes to show what can be achieved when people stay positive, stick together and refuse to be fobbed off. 

Because this time last year the City Council was defending the WPBR to the hilt and senior officials were reassuring Glasgow's councillors that their pay scheme was as 'sound as a pound' - and would see off any challenge at the Court of Session. 

But what a difference a year makes!

So congratulations all round and here is a series of posts from the blog site archive which explain why the Council's WPBR sucks 'big time' and why the scheme had to be replaced.

The task now is to agree a new job evaluation scheme (JES) and new pay and grading arrangements which are open, transparent and command the confidence of the council workforce.

The other big challenge is to get down to serious negotiations about compensating all of the equal pay claimants who have effectively been treated as as 'second class citizens' while the WPBR has been operating for the past twelve years.

  

Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (8)



Here is the stark and shocking reality of how the 'rules' of the WPBR have been designed by Glasgow City Council to disadvantage female dominated jobs while favouring traditional male jobs.

The most notorious example is the completely invented '37 hour rule' and the accompanying overtime working practices which treat women workers as second class citizens. 
  • 98% of male dominated jobs benefit from the 37 hour rule and O/T practices
  • 2% of female dominated jobs benefit from the 37 hour rule and O/T practices
  • No other work related benefit operates in this way - people don't have to work 37 hours to qualify for holiday pay, sick pay, maternity leave, paternity leave etc.
  • Put simply the 'rule' is a blatant example of the gender discrimination on which the whole WPBR is based.
Many Home Carers, for example, work more than 37 hours every week, but they are issued with separate contracts for working these additional hours so they don't qualify for premium, overtime rates.

If you ask me, the double standards built into the WPBR are completely indefensible which is why Glasgow's 'unfit for purpose' pay scheme has to go.

  



New Year Message for Glasgow (01/01/18)




If I were running Glasgow City Council, I would extend an invitation Frans de Waal's to explain the psychology of equal pay to the council's senior officials 

Watch this great excerpt from Ted Talks to see how low paid women workers in Glasgow have been treated for years, as second class citizens, paid in 'cucumbers' while their male colleagues were being rewarded with much juicer and tastier grapes.


But thanks to the long fight for equal pay and powerful backing from the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, the tables have turned.


Glasgow's lowest paid, predominantly female workers now have the confidence to tell City Council bosses to stick their cucumbers where the sun don't shine! 


  


Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (7)



WCD has 6 levels from Level 0 (which attracts no payment whatsoever) to Level 5 which attracts the highest payment.


Level 0 - has 23% Men and 77% Women (0 to 44 points)


Level 1 - has 26% Men and 74% Women (45 to 54 points)


Level 2 - has 51% Men and 49% Women (55 to 63 points)


Level 3 - has 93% Men and 07% Women (64 to 72 points)


Level 4 - has 100% Men and 0% Women (73 to 79 points)


Level 5 - has 100% Men and 0% Women (80 points plus)


The position can be summarised as follows:

  • The highest concentration of women is to be found at WCD Level 0 which attracts a zero payment. 
  • Women also dominate Level 1 which attracts the lowest level of WCD payment. 
  • Traditional male jobs dominate Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 despite the fact that men make up only 30% of the workforce.
  • Each WCD Level is awarded points and the points are worth money - except in the case of Level 0 which attracts no monetary reward. 
  • Level 0 has from 0 to 44 points, but these points do not get added to an employee's initial WPBR Grade even though the extra points would make a difference to some of the claimants' grades and Core Pay. 
  • The strange banding of points has clearly been designed to favour male dominated jobs - the first Level 0 band is 'up to 44 points' yet all the others have much shorter 'steps'.
Yet another reason the Court of Session decided that Glasgow's WPBR is 'unfit for purpose' although the City Council's senior officials continue to disagree.

  


Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (6)



WCD (Working Context and Demands) is a method for 'topping up' the Core Pay of GCC employees and is based on 5 additional assessment criteria - over and above the 10 criteria used to determine a job's initial WPBR grade and Core Pay.  

Again the 'rules' of WCD have been designed in such a way as to favour traditional male jobs.


Less than a third of women's jobs (just 32%) receive WCD payments despite the fact that women make up 70% of the City Council's workforce. 


70% of men on the other hand receive WCD payments which is another sign that a 'hidden hand is at work.


Whoever designed and finally signed off on the WPBR spent a whole bunch of time ensuring that the 'rules' worked to the disadvantage of predominantly female jobs.


The final scheme must have been approved by senior council officials and/or a relevant committee of Glasgow City Council, but the WPBR is shrouded in secrecy despite being, by far, the most significant employment issue the City Council had ever faced, up until the time its introduction in January 2007.



  


Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (5)



Here are some more killer facts and figures on Glasgow City Council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR pay scheme.


  • Percentage of women who receive no (zero, nada) NSWP payment - 81.07%
  • Percentage of men who receive no (zero, nada) NSWP payment - 39.71%



  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level A - 4.66%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level  A - 4.18%



  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level B - 7.26%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level B - 30.49%



  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level C - 3.58%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level C - 6.83%



  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP paymentS at Level D - 1.10%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level D - 14.63%



  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP paymentS at Level E - 0.23%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level E - 0.24%



  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level F - 2.11%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level F - 2.92%

So let me see summarise the position as  follows:
  • more than 4 out of 5 women receive no payment at all in respect of NSWP
  • but fewer than 2 out of 5 men receive a 'zero' NSWP payment
  • in only one of the payment levels (Level A) do women outnumber men - by a very small margin
  • Level A is the lowest payment level
  • Level B - women council workers outnumber men by more that 2 to 1 (70% to 30%)
  • Level B - but 4 times as many men receive Level B payments than women 
  • Level D - women council workers outnumber men by more that 2 to 1 (70% to 30%)
  • Level D - but 14 times as many men receive Level D payments than women 
  • Levels C, E and F - women council workers outnumber men by more that 2 to 1 (70% to 30%)
  • Levels C, E and F - yet in each of these payments bands men outnumber women
Again it seems unarguable that the NSWP pay bands have been designed to work to the obvious disadvantage of female dominated jobs - there is no other explanation. 

  



Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (4)


Here are some remarkable facts and figures about Glasgow's WPBR Pay Monster which was supposed to tackle the problem of widespread pay discrimination and unequal pay in the City Council's pre-WPBR pay arrangements.
  • 60.29% of men receive NSWP payments.


  • But only 18.93% of women receive NSWP payments


  • Yet women make up the great majority of Glasgow City Council's workforce - 69.5% - let's just call that 70% for the sake of simplicity. 


  • Quite unbelievably more than three times as many men (60.29%) receive NSWP payments compared to women 18.93%). 


  • But all things being 'equal' you would expect women to receive 70% of NSWP payments - in line with their share of the workforce.


  • 70% of the total number of workers receiving NSWP = 60.29% + 18.93% = 79.22% x 70% = 55.45%.


  • Yet instead of 55.45% of women being paid NSWP only 18.93% of the female workforce receive these payments.


  • Again if all things were 'equal' the council's male workers would receive 30% of all NSWP payments or 60.29% + 18.93% = 79.22% x 30% = 23.77%.  


  • Yet instead of 23.77% of men being paid NSWP an eye watering 60.29% of the male workforce receive these payments.


What does this say about the WPBR other than the fact the at the WPBR Pay Monsters is a complete joke? 

If you ask me, the invented 'rules' of the WPBR have been deliberately designed to favour traditional male jobs which is why the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, judged the pay scheme to be 'unfit for purpose'.

Surely it is indefensible for Glasgow City Council's most senior officials to continue backing this cockamamy scheme.


  

Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (3)











Just in case anyone thought that a Glasgow Road Worker enjoyed some great good fortune at the hands of the City Council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR scheme - which resulted in a pay package worth more than £24,000 a year.


Here are several other traditional male jobs that were previously placed on a lower grade than a Home Carer, but which all leapfrogged over the Home Carers (who had previously been on a higher grade) as a result of the new, 'improved' and allegedly fairer WPBR pay arrangements.


The following examples are based on 2009 figures at the end of the WPBR protection period although the fact of the matter is that the higher pay of traditional male jobs continues to this day, i.e. into 2018.


Gardener 1  - £18,032
Home Carer - £16,300

Pay Difference - £1,732


General Labourer - £18,324
Home Carer          - £16,300

Pay Difference - £2,024



Gravedigger - £21,201
Home Carer - £16,300

Pay Difference - £4,901


Gardener 4  - £21,803
Home Carer - £16,300

Pay Difference - £5,503


Road Worker - £24,208
Home Carer   - £16,300

Pay Difference - £7,908


So what senior officials in Glasgow are inviting employees (and the public) to believe is that a whole raft of traditional, unskilled male dominated jobs which require no qualifications, all of a sudden fared a great deal better under a new 'improved' WPBR pay scheme - than the city's Home Carers.


Always remembering that the WPBR was introduced, supposedly, to address the problem of 'unequal pay' and the widespread pay discrimination in Glasgow City Council's pre-WPBR pay structures. 

Does your head button up the back, Glasgow? 


Does the council workforce have any confidence in the senior officials responsible for overseeing the WPBR process?


I suspect the answer to both of these questions is a resounding 'NO', but tune in again soon for - Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (4)

  


Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (2)


The table above shows the pay differences between a Home Carer (MW5) and a Road Worker (MW4) - both before and after the Glasgow City Council's infamous Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) in 2007.

Now Home Carer on grade MW5, was on a higher grade on the male Road Worker on MW4  and that ought to have meant that the Home Carer was paid more than her male colleague - because the council's grading system awarded the Road Worker a lower grade.


However the pay reality (which had existed for years remember) was very different and the relative earnings of the two jobs was actually as follows:

Pre-WPBR


Road Worker (MW4) - £24,901.78

Home Carer (MW5)  -  £12,438.00

Pay Difference -  £12,463.78



Post-WPBR


Road Worker (MW4) - £23,308.16

Home Carer (MW5)  - £16,646.49

Pay Difference - £6,661.67

So the pay difference narrowed after the introduction of the WPBR, but the Road Worker did much better out of the WPBR with all of its complicated and non-transparent 'rules' such as the NSWP which were designed to give a better outcome to traditional male jobs.

For a good example, look no further than the NSWP 37 hour 'rule' which pays £1,000 a year but only to jobs which are contracted to work 37 hours or more every week. 

98% of council employees who are not contracted to work 37 hours or more every week - are women, of course.

The big question is - "How did a WPBR scheme which was supposed to tackle the widespread problem of 'unequal pay' and big, hidden bonuses - end up favouring Glasgow's City Council's traditional male jobs?"

Because after all has been said and done, Glasgow's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR rewards a Road Worker with almost £7,000 a year more than a Home Carer.   


Not just that, of course, because back in 2005 senior City Council officials rushed in a compensation scheme which was capped at a total of just £9,000 when the real pay difference between a Home Carer and a Road Worker stood at £12,463.78 a year.

The council compensation scheme took no account of hours worked (i.e. overtime) and left many groups of workers out - even though they had perfectly valid claims.


Lots more to follow - so tune in again soon for 'Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (3)'.


  

Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (1)


A4ES held a special briefing meeting on equal pay in Glasgow on Friday 9 February 2018.

A group of claimants were present, along with representatives from Unison and GMB (the other claimant organisations) - Glasgow's constituency MSPs and MPs were all invited to attend along with to 'List' MSPs.  


The briefing kicked off with Stefan Cross explaining the nature of the discriminatory pay arrangements which existed across Glasgow back in 2005 

At that time 133 traditional male (comparator) jobs in Glasgow City Council enjoyed access to bonus schemes which boosted their basic pay by 50% or more.


So a male worker being paid £6.00 an hour was reality being paid £9.00, £10.00 or even £11.00 an hour depending on the particular job in question. 


The number of female dominated (claimant) jobs which enjoyed access to bonus schemes back in 2005 was - 0, zero, nada, none.


In other words, traditional male jobs which demanded a great deal less responsibility, skill and/or qualifications than comparable female jobs - were nonetheless being paid thousands of pounds a year more.

The Scottish council employers, including Glasgow, City Council had pledged to deal with this scandal of 'unequal pay' as far back as 1999, but six years later nothing had changed.

More to follow in the days ahead.


So watch this space because my next post will explain that pay differences between male and female jobs are still enormous under Glasgow's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR.