Sunday, 17 June 2018

Glasgow and Equal Pay

I take my hat off to Hazel Nolan, a full-time GMB official, who is involved in the ongoing fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council.

Hazel took to Twitter yesterday to express her surprise and disappointment that  a Labour candidate, Johann Lamont, used a 'hustings' speech to defend the record of the previous Labour Council administration which introduced the City Council's WPBR pay arrangements and fought through the courts for years to retain the WPBR.

Now I wasn't at the selection meeting, but I understand that Johann's defence was that Labour councillors had no choice other than to follow the 'professional' advice of the Council's senior officials and legal advisers.

Which is pathetic if you ask me, because it didn't require a Philadelphia lawyer to explain that the WPBR's 37 hour 'rule' was designed to discriminate against the Council's largely female workforce - and anyone with an understanding of equality issues could have told you that from the 'get go'.

I think it's fair to describe Johann as a feminist and as someone who has had lots of experience of dealing with equality issues over the years - because Johann was a leading Labour activist (and school teacher) in Glasgow long before her election to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and as Scottish Labour leader in 2011.

As such, Johann really had no excuse for 'swallowing whole' the Glasgow City Council's propaganda about its WPBR pay scheme which was condemned as 'unfit for purpose' by the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, in 2017.

And Johann had even less of an excuse when you consider that her partner, Archie Graham, has been a senior Labour councillor in Glasgow for all this time, ending up as deputy leader until Labour lost control of the City Council in 2017.   

So well done to Hazel Nolan for speaking up because the Labour Party has to face up to the fact that the last Labour-led Council got things badly wrong and if it makes the politicians  feel better to blame senior officials and their legal advisers, then that's up to them.

In reality, that's why senior officials and advisers get paid such big bucks - when the going gets tough they tend to get 'thrown under the bus' and would anyone really shed a tear, if this fate now befalls some of Glasgow's senior officials in 2018?

After all, their advice got the Council into this mess in the first place, so show them the door!

I noticed that the Glasgow SNP MP Stewart McDonald retweeted Hazel Nolan's comment and also tweeted some thoughts of his own, trying to make mischief over the internal Labour row, which is all part of the rough and tumble of political life.

But Glasgow's MSPs and MPs have been strangely quiet on the issue of equal pay - and they've all stayed eerily silent on the issue of Emergency Weather Payments to Cordia workers, for example.

In other words while it's easy and tempting to criticise your political opponents - it requires integrity and courage to take issue with your own side.

And if you ask me, the politics of Glasgow could do with a bit more of that from the SNP when it comes to supporting their local constituents in the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council.
Tweets from Twitter

Hazel Nolan
Very disappointing that @JohannLamont used her hustings speech to attack Labour affiliated trade unions, and defend the previous Labour administration in Glasgow City Hall’s dismal record on Equal Pay for working women. Hope as a PPC she will do better than that for working women.

Stewart McDonald (MP)
Seems Johann Lamont’s first night as my Labour opponent at the next election has started out well...

Hazel Nolan
She had a pop at them at the same time as defending the council’s record on Equal Pay- which hasn’t at all been resolved, despite what she said - although it would be great if Labour were more helpful on the issue too.

Mark Irvine
Well said! We could do with less party scoring and more engagement on the issue of equal pay from the city's MSPs and MPs who are barely involved and seem disinterested in the council's discriminatory pay arrangements - which are still firmly in place.


The Quiet Bunch (16/06/18)

I sent the following message to Glasgow MSPs and MPs via Twitter the other day, in an effort to rally support from the city's politicians in the ongoing fight for equal pay. 

Mark Irvine

What do the politicians - Councillors, MSPs and MPs - have to say about the fact that some workers are being treated as 'second class' members of the Glasgow City Council Family?

Now I think it's perfectly fair to point out that Home Carers who battled through the 'Beast from the East' to support their vulnerable clients are being treated as 'second class citizens' compared to other members of the Glasgow 'Council Family'.

But there's not been much of a response from Glasgow's MSPs and MPs which I find rather odd - not one question, comment, Like or Retweet - so far at least.

Yet the city's MSPs have lots to say about other issues and here's a random sample of what they were Tweeting and Retweeting about yesterday.

Lots of topical and important subjects for sure, but not a word about the shameful treatment of Glasgow Cordia workers and is you ask me, this 'lack of engagement' from the politicians is something the claimants are going to have to address in the weeks ahead.

Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister opens Meet the Researchers, a community science day organised by Glasgow Caledonian University held at The Barn Youth and Community Centre in the Gorbals.

Sandra White

What justification could have for objecting to being made a criminal offence? I hope he might come on to explain to us all why he derailed a bill preventing people taking pix up women's skirts...

Ivan McKee

Pleased to get the chance to thank the massive crowd who turned out today in solidarity with our MPs and to support the message Hands Off Our Parliament after the week's extraordinary goings on in Westminster

Humza Yousaf

To all my fellow Muslims celebrating across the world - Eid Mubarak for tomorrow! Enjoy your day folks

Bill Kidd

Active Seniors Day in the Park 2018 via

Bob Doris

I raised issue of unhealthy fast food shops near schools whilst seeks 2 promote healthy food in schools

John Mason

Pretty fabulous production of 'High School Musical' School, Coatbridge. Great singing, acting, and dancing by pupils. Well supported by staff. Great atmosphere. One of their best shows yet.

James Dornan

Great crowd full of optimisim and energy today at the Scottish Parliament. Delighted to show them my support.


Glasgow's Councillors, MSPs and MPs

Earlier today I sent a copy of my 'We Are Family' - 'Are We Family?' blog post to all Glasgow Councillors, MSPs and MPs.

What do the politicians - Councillors, MSPs and MPs - have to say about the fact that some workers are being treated as 'second class' members of the Glasgow City Council Family? 

A quick look on Facebook and Twitter will show you that Glasgow's politicians have lots to say, on a daily basis, on all kinds of topical issues in their local constituencies and beyond.

So let's see what they have to say about the latest revelation about Glasgow pay arrangements for the second class members of the City Council 'Family'.

I've have re-published below contact email addresses for Glasgow's constituency MSPs and MPs and here is a link to the City Council which will allow readers to find an email address and contact details for their local councillors:

Keep me posted on any responses you receive - good, bad or indifferent - and bear in mind that you have every reason to expect help and support from your Councillors, MSPs and MPs.

So don't be fobbed off and ask what they are prepared to do on your behalf.