Monday, 15 October 2018

Won't Get Fooled Again! (07/02/18)

The latest news from the Glasgow equal pay negotiations is not good.

As a matter of fact it's downright discouraging because senior officials in the council seem to be more interested in defending their past behaviour and controversial decisions than they are in delivering a just outcome to this long-running dispute.  

Take the WPBR which, as everyone knows, was judged to be 'unfit for purpose' by no less an authority than the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court.

Yet instead of agreeing to replace this completely discredited scheme council officials are in no hurry to ditch the WPBR with all its cockamamy 'rules' and discriminatory payments such as the £1,000 a year NSWP payment some employees receive, but only those who have an employment contract for 37 hours a week or more.

In essence having created a Frankenstein's Monster council bosses now seem to be saying that the workforce should to learn to love the WPBR by turning a blind eye to its invented 'rules' and bizarre practices which treat Glasgow's women workers like second class citizens. 

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To add insult to injury, council officials are talking about imposing their preferred solutions to outstanding issues on a 'take it to leave it' basis which is completely unacceptable to all the claimant organisations.

Because if senior officials get away with a 'take it or leave it' approach at this early stage, they will obviously do the same when it comes to any final settlement and so the claimants would not receive anything like the sums they are due in compensation for being cheated out of their right to equal pay for the past 10 years.

As you would expect, this ridiculous 'not up for negotiation' approach was rejected out of hand by the claimants' representatives, as a divide and rule tactic.

So the scene is set for a major confrontation - the officials now running the council have been in senior positions for the past 20 years (more on that to follow) and they clearly have considerable responsibility for the position that Glasgow City Council finds itself in today.

On the big issues, council officials seem to think that they know better than the three senior judges at the Court of Session who decided unanimously that Glasgow's WPBR is a 'joke' - because judges don't use words like 'unfit for purpose' lightly.

The same three judges went on to decide, again unanimously, that the city council had no grounds on which to appeal their decision to the UK Supreme Court and you would think this would encourage a degree of humility, rather than arrogance, on the part of officials whose awful advice got Glasgow into such a god-awful mess in the first place. 

One thing's for sure, the approach being taken by council officials is completely at odds with the recent public statements made by the Council Leader, Susan Aitken.

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