Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Coming Soon - The Story of Glasgow's Fight for Equal Pay



I said several weeks ago that I was writing up the story of the long fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council.

Well the good news is that I have finished and the post is just about ready to go - and tomorrow (May Day) is probably as day to publish as any.

Now it's quite a long read because the fight for equal pay is one Glasgow's biggest stories ever and, uniquely, my account is backed up by lots of contemporaneous posts from my blog. 

In other words it's as good an historical record as you'll get anywhere, even though I say so myself.

So do let me know what you think.

  

In Loving Memory - Glasgow's Fight for Equal Pay



163 Equal Pay Claimants passed away during the long fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council, many of them at a young age.

As a mark of respect, their council colleagues decided to raise money for a Memorial Bench which will be permanently located in George Square facing Glasgow City Chambers. 

A brass plaque has been fitted to the bench along with the following message:

In Loving Memory 
of the 163 Claimants who passed away 
during the long fight for equal pay with 
Glasgow City Council

January 2007 - May 2019

The Memorial Bench will be unveiled at 10am on Friday 3 May 2019.

The event is being organised by the council colleagues of those who have passed away while waiting for their equal pay claims to be settled - the families of these individuals have been invited to attend as well.

A photo-call has been arranged for Friday 3 May at 10 am outside the City Chambers - all welcome.

  




In Loving Memory (24/10/18)

One of the most powerful moments during yesterday's extraordinary March and Rally in support of equal pay was the minute's silence in Glasgow's George Square for all the claimants who have passed away since this dispute began back in 2006/07.

It is, quite simply, a scandal.

  

In Loving Memory (23/10/18)


Before Glasgow's March and Rally for Equal Pay gets underway later today (Tuesday) there will be a minute's silence for all of the claimants who have passed away since this long-running dispute began back in 2006/07. 

Here are Facebook posts from Stefan Cross 'Remembering' Glasgow claimants.

In Loving Memory - Mary Isbister


Before Glasgow's March and Rally for Equal Pay gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd) there will be a minute's silence for all of the claimants who have passed away since this long-running dispute began back in 2006/07. 

Here's a Facebook post from Stefan Cross which Remembers another Glasgow claimant - Mary Isbister 

MORE MEMORIES

The shocking thing about reminding ourselves about those that have passed still waiting, is how young so many of them.

TODAY RIP MARY ISBISTER 

Her daughter Michelle says

My lovely wee mum Mary Isbister
DOB: 25/11/1954
Passed away on: 27 May 2016

If my mum was still alive today she
two would have be out supporting the strike just like I will be. 💪

Shame on you Glasgow City Council you have dragged your feet on this pay claim for far too long that people have passed away waiting on your finger out. Pay everyone what they are due and settle this issue once and for all Glasgow.

#equal pay
#justice
# fight all the way lady’s 💪💪

”In memory of my lovely mum Mary Isbister ❤️

Thank you Michelle. 

Stefan Cross



In Loving Memory - Elaine Russell


Before Glasgow's March and Rally for Equal Pay gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd) there will be a minute's silence for all of the claimants who have passed away since this long-running dispute began back in 2006/07. 

Here's a Facebook post from Stefan Cross which Remembers another Glasgow claimant - Elaine Russell. 

ANOTHER TO REMEMBER - ELAINE RUSSELL

I got this message from another bereaved relative - DONNA BURNS

I’m so grateful to the relatives for allowing me to do this.

So RIP ELAINE. not forgotten.

Hi Stefan

I think it is great that you are including the women that have passed away in this fight for quality. I would like it if you can include my late mother. Elaine Russell ,home care co ordinator.

Born 25/5/1959 passed away 20/12/2014

My mother was a hard working woman who did all the hours to care for her family and to know that she was robbed of money that she was rightly owed is disgusting behaviour from GCC.

I hope that all my mum's colleagues and the rest of the woman out there get what is rightly theirs.


In Loving Memory - Margaret Gorman


Before Glasgow's March and Rally for Equal Pay gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd) there will be a minute's silence for all of the claimants who have passed away since this long-running dispute began back in 2006/07. 

Here's a Facebook post from Stefan Cross which Remembers another Glasgow claimant - Margaret Gorman 



MARGARET GORMAN - RIP
Shout to GORDON and his beloved wife Margaret. 
16 years as a home carer. 


She sadly passed away 5 YEARS AGO. This show the obscene delay in these cases. 

Home Carer - 01/07/1994 to 20/11/2010

DOB: 08/04/1952

Passed away on the 12/02/2013
Here is a message from her husband :
My name is Gordon Gorman , I have been representing my late wife through Stefan since my wife passed away while waiting for her claim for equal pay settlement along with her working colleagues. I'm more than happy for a photo of my late wife to be shown in respect to this matter and also in support of her colleagues who are still fighting for this while the council are stalling in settlement in my wife's case and others who have now passed away while waiting for a settlement. I know Margaret would be happy to support her working colleagues in any way that she could. As Margaret's husband and Executor I give you the authority to show her photo in support off her claim that is still waiting to be settled . 
Gordon Gorman

Thanks Gordon. 


In Loving Memory - Ann McCartney



Before Glasgow's March and Rally for Equal Pay gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd) there will be a minute's silence for all of the claimants who have passed away since this long-running dispute began back in 2006/07. 

Here's a Facebook post from Stefan Cross which Remembers another Glasgow claimant - Ann (Agnes) McCartney 

ANN MCCARTNEY RIP


Another incredibly young loss. Thanks to husband HUGH for sharing.

Agnes (Known as Ann) McCartney

Support for Learning worker – 19/12/2002 - 01/08/2014

DOB: 09/02/1957

Passed away in 2014

Comment from Husband Hugh McCartney
I find it astonishing that 12 years on from when the dispute began that Glasgow District Council have still to come to an agreement when other Councils have already settled their claims.


Agnes or Ann as she was called by everyone was one of the first to back the equal pay claim and also encouraged others to do the same.

She would be turning in her grave now to find that 4 years after her death, this claim has not been settled and that the council are still dragging negotiations out.

This is a scandal and Glasgow District Council should be ashamed of themselves.


Stefan Cross

In Loving Memory - Maureen McDonald


Before Glasgow's March and Rally for Equal Pay gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd) there will be a minute's silence for all of the claimants who have passed away since this long-running dispute began back in 2006/07. 

Here's a Facebook post from Stefan Cross which Remembers Maureen McDonald. 

Whilst the council scaremongers about the risk to clients

Let’s remember those claimants who have actually passed and whose families still wait for justice.

Let’s remember:

The late Maureen McDonald

DOB: 24/04/1958

Passed away on: 15 March 2015

Catering Manager 01/04/1998 to 25/06/2011

Comments from Husband Charles McDonald

”In memory of my late wife Maureen McDonald I would like to add my support to the cause for equal pay. The City Council have dragged their feet on this pay claim for far too long. Pay the lassies what they are due and settle this issue once and for all Glasgow.”

Thank you Mr. McDonald. We will keep on fighting for you.

And thank you for the great photo.

RIP Maureen.

We will keep up her memory and many others like her.

Stefan Cross

In Loving Memory (24/10/18)



Glasgow's March and Rally for Equal Pay held a minute's silence for all the claimants who have passed away since this long-running dispute began back in 2006/07. 

Here's a Facebook post from Stefan Cross which Remembers another Glasgow claimant - Elaine McNeil - who sadly never made it home after battling with the awful weather conditions of the 'Beast from the East' to look after her clients.  


Respect.

RIP ELAINE MCNEIL 

This was the lass who died in the snow. I’m sure all of us shed a tear at this awful tragedy. Her family have said :

Can you put my sister Elaine Gunn McNeil on who passed away going to work on February this year 42 she was going to care for her clients at Parkhouse in Milton walked through the snow to care for her clients. Never made it home. Family left devastated 


Thanks Maryellen 

Her Sister


Privileged to do that Maryellen

Stefan Cross

Beast from the East (15/10/18)



I read this article from the Evening Times with more interest than normal, as I think it's not correct to say that Glasgow City Council ground to a halt "completely" during the appalling weather conditions ushered in by the 'Beast from the East'.

I wrote about this on the blog site at the time and the fact is that Home Carers and other school-based staff battled their way through the atrocious weather, often at risk to their own health and safety.

So while it is true to say that 'People Make Glasgow', I'm afraid they don't always get the credit they deserve for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Even worse some folk have the cheek to criticise Glasgow's Home Carers for going on strike in support of their fight for equal pay.

 


https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/16975881.cold-war-glasgow-sets-out-winter-survival-plan-after-beast-from-the-east/?ref=mr&lp=9

Cold War: Glasgow sets out winter survival plan after Beast from the East
THE city council has unveiled its beefed-up extreme weather survival plan after widespread criticism last winter.

The local authority came under fire for failing to adequately grit roads and pavements as the cold snap took hold in January and February – with some side streets branded ‘no go areas’ even before snow fell.

The city ground to a halt completely during March’s Beast from the East when thousands of workers were told to stay at home amid the city’s first red ‘risk to life’ warning.

The local authority is still counting the cost of the damage, with £11.6m ploughed into repairing more than 80kms of roads.

Nevertheless, workers will unload up to 24,000 tonnes of grit onto surfaces in the coming months, with the city’s A and B class roads, steep hills and Buchanan Bus Station were identified as a top priority.

City centre pavements on streets including Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street will be included in a list of high pedestrian traffic areas to be gritted as a top priority.

The move comes despite complaints too much focus had been placed on city centre streets while outlying residential areas missed out last winter.

In line with previous years, the council will place and fill 1,487 grit bins across Glasgow to help the public help themselves.

There will also be 18 permanent night shift drivers tasked with gritting carriageways to keep the city moving.

Despite predictions of months of extreme weather, the council insists it will be ready for the expected tough conditions this winter.

George Gillespie, the council’s executive director of neighbourhoods and sustainability, said: “The gritting of the road network will be carried out mainly by night shift operatives based at land and environmental services’ Gartcraig depot.

“Road network gritting will also be undertaken during normal hours as and when required.

“The gritting of the footway and cycleway network will be carried out by operatives during the day shift but with the ability to start at 5.30am when required.

“This winter, 18 permanent nightshift drivers will be on duty on any given night and when necessary, this number can be increased.

“Their primary duty is driving large carriageway gritting vehicles as required by the weather conditions.

“When carriageway gritting is not required, the drivers can be used for cleansing, lighting, emergency response and any other duties directed by management.”

As well as the roads, the council has also drawn-up a list of priority pavements and cycle lanes.

Shopping centres outwith the city centre and school access routes will be first on the list for pavement gritting.

Teams will also target cycle paths between the south west of the city through to Kelvingrove Park.

George Gillespie, the council’s executive director of neighbourhoods and sustainability, said: “The pre-salting of priority one carriageways, footways and cycle ways will be instructed should the domain-based weather forecast predict that ice or snow is likely to be present on road surfaces.“During such sustained periods of freezing conditions, all available operational resources, such as roads, parks and cleansing, will be deployed to salting an/or snow clearing operations.

“Arrangements are in place to call upon sub-contractors as and when conditions dictate.”

Last month it was revealed that 688 pothole related claims were made against the council between April 2017 and April 2018 – 239 more than in 2016/17.

Much of that was blamed on the harsh conditions throughout January and February.

Several Glasgow City Council schools had to be closed for a number of days during last winter’s extreme conditions, and when schools did eventually reopen, parents claimed the roads and pavements were still to dangerous.

However, the local authority insists it will battle to ensure all schools remain open as normal throughout the coming winter.

Parents were advised to monitor social media for updates on whether their child’s school would be able to open during the snowstorms.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “It is always our aim to ensure that schools open as normal.

“We do everything we can to resolve the problems that can arise before a decision to close a school is taken.

“We fully understand the inconvenience caused by a late closure and so a school closure is the last resort.

“But there can be emergency situations such as a lack of heating or water or extreme weather events where a closure is unfortunately unavoidable.

“In all instances the safety of pupils and staff is always our prime concern.

“Unless it is stated otherwise, it is always the position that a school will open as normal.”



Get A Grip, Cordia! (02/03/18)



Here's an interesting message I received a short time ago via Twitter from a regular reader in Glasgow.

Mark 

My mother in law is a janitor/cleaner for Cordia. She made it in on wed, didnt go in thurs as nursery was closed. Her line manager phoned her at home,demanding to know why she didnt turn up at nearest school. She told her she needs to take annual leave as a result.

K

Well my advice is not to agree to take annual leave or unpaid leave on a voluntary basis.


In the employee's shoes, I would advise the Cordia manager that I want to raise a grievance over their instruction as it seems unfair and unreasonable given the terrible weather conditions.

As well as being completely at odds to the way in which the Council's teaching staff are treated. 

And you know what, reasonable people who read my blog seem to agree! 


Absolutely shocking and total disregard of their staff who work so hard and are as much part of the staff team as the Head Teacher

C


Exactly Mark could you imagine a teacher walking to school to sit in an empty classroom but our cleaners have been told to sit in a cold empty school honest you couldn't make it up x

F



 


What Are You Thinking, Cordia? (02/3/18)



I've heard several reports from Cordia staff employed in Glasgow's schools that during the terrible weather of the last couple of days they have still been instructed to turn up for work.

Now I can't really believe this because Glasgow City Council announced very early on Wednesday morning that all schools and nurseries would be closed out of concern for the safety of students, parents and staff.

So if all the schools and nurseries are closed, why in the name of God were school cleaners and so on not being advised to stay at home?

Even worse are stories of staff being instructed to either take annual leave or a day's unpaid leave if they are not prepared to turn up to work at an empty school - how foolish does that make Cordia look?

If anyone is penalised financially for not turning up at work when their school is closed, please let me know - in confidence, of course.

Can anyone imagine a school teacher being treated in this way?

Of course not, so why should other staff put up with such nonsense.


 


PayFest 2019 - Glasgow's Big EquaL Pay Party


I have a meeting with Unison and the GMB later this week to discuss arrangements for PayFest 2019 - Glasgow's big equal pay party - which is taking place on Saturday 6th July 2019.

Lots of issues still have to be resolved including: 

'PayFest' Piper
Should we have a PayFest Piper to welcome the partygoers on the night?

Spirit of the Strike
Can we organise for some of the Claimants to be in costume at the start of the evening - to set the scene and recapture the great spirit of Glasgow's historic equal pay strike?

Social Media Wall
We can arrange to have a 'Social Media Wall' on one side of The Barrowland showing images of Glasgow's long-running dispute - images of the rallies, strike days and so on.

Photbooth
Likewise we can arrange to have a 'Photobooth' in place on the night so that the Partygoers can take fun-filled pictures of themselves and their guests - a good idea?

Payfest 2019 Video
One suggestion is to have a live video of proceedings which Partygoers can access after the event. 

Karaoke
A smaller live 'Karaoke' has been mooted for the smaller bar (downstairs - not the main ballroom) so that good singers amongst the Partygoers can show off to their family and friends!

Party 'Furniture and Decoration
Can we use some of the banners and placards from the dispute as a backdrop in the main Barrowland ballroom?

Glasgow Tapas
Food is difficult because of safety regulations and the nature of the evening, but can we organise some local Glasgow Tapas?

PayFest 2019 'Medals' 
Another idea is to organise 'medals' for all the Partygoers along the lines of 'PayFest 2019 - I was there'!

As I write this post more than 500 PayFest tickets have been sold and we intend to keep the present ticketing arrangements in place for now because there are more two months to go before Saturday 6th July.

We will have to introduce a cut-off date nearer the time as the numbers attending need to be finalised, but for the moment people can still but tickets online at: https://www.a4es.co.uk - or by phone on 0131 659 9958.

So that's all the latest news I have - there will be more to follow in the weeks ahead, but if readers have any suggestions or comments, please drop me a note at: markirvine@compuserve.com