Saturday, 13 October 2018

First Minister and Equal Pay

Here's a report back from a meeting that a group of Glasgow equal pay claimants had earlier today with their local MSP - Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister.

What a great initiative from the claimants involved and I'm sure what they had to say will get straight back to the City Chambers.

Glasgow's MSPs may not want to get drawn into this long-running dispute, but staying above the fray or sitting on the fence really isn't an option.

So let's hope the message hits home and that other Glasgow claimants are inspired to do beat a path to the door of their own local MSPs and MPs. 

Meeting with Nicola Sturgeon - MSP for Glasgow Southside and Scotland's First Minister 

Four equal pay claimants (members of the Facebook group) had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon earlier today, in her capacity as MSP for the Glasgow Southside constituency - here are the main points we put across.
  • The dispute is about the refusal of Glasgow City Council to negotiate seriously with our representatives
  • The claimants have no confidence in senior council officials because this is the same group who have been defending the WPBR pay scheme for years
  • Basic issues such as which male comparator jobs to use (to calculate compensation) has still to be addressed never mind resolved - so how can the Council table a serious offer in December?   
  • After 10 months and 21 meetings with senior officials - the Council has gone back on its promise to negotiate in good faith
  • Union members have not been called out on strike by their unions - they have been demanding action from their trade unions
  • The workforce is incensed at being treated with such disrespect and arrogance by the council's chief executive 
  • The claimants are entitled to be compensated for the pay and pension rights they have lost as a result of the WPBR
  • The Council Leader deserves credit for taking a stand, but the politicians need to start listening to both sides of the argument 
Nicola listened carefully to all the points we made and our impression of Nicola's position as our local MSP was:
  • MSPs can't get directly involved in the dispute 
  • Negotiations are underway and are making good progress
  • The strikes on 23/24 October may delay a settlement 
  • Nicola supports the claimants in their fight for equal pay
  • Nicola wants to see a just settlement of this long-running dispute 
  • Nicola will take our points up with the City Council Leader, Susan Aitken
All things considered we felt the meeting was very worthwhile. We felt we got our points across and while we did not agree about everything, we believe that we gave Nicola as our MSP some real food for thought. Glasgow's politicians are clearly discussing these issues behind the scenes, so let's see more claimants getting involved with their own local MSPs and MPs.