Thursday, 30 January 2020

Glasgow - Sight for Sore Eyes



Now here's what you call a sight for sore eyes - the location of Glasgow's new 'Equal Pay' Oak Tree which will be planted on the east side of the People's Palace in the weeks ahead.

Watch this space for further details. 

 


Glasgow's New Oak Tree (19/12/19)



A number of readers have been in touch to ask when Glasgow's new Oak Tree will be planted.

Well, the answer is sometime in the New Year, probably March, but once a date is confirmed the details will be widely shared.

Because the plan is also to unveil a plaque explaining the significance of the tree to the citizens of Glasgow and visitors to the People's Palace.   



 



The Tree That Never Grew - Update (17/12/19)



'Great oaks from little acorns grow' is an old proverb which suggests that big things can sometimes result from very humble beginnings.

An Oak tree can live for 1,000 years, apparently, in which case it's not surprising that the mighty oak is also symbol of strength, resistance and knowledge.

So it's fitting that an Oak tree will be planted in the grounds of the People's Palace in the New Year as a tribute to Glasgow's long fight for equal pay and to remember the hundreds of low paid council workers who have passed away since this dispute began back in 2005. 

It's taken a while, but the Council has finally come good and that's due in no small way to the tireless efforts of Frances Stojilkovic who has been battling away behind the scenes and refusing to take no for an answer.

Now the Glasgow tree won't be as majestic as the one pictured above which is hundreds of years old, but it will provide a great focal point to remind Glasgow's council workers of their history-making fight - and for friends and families to pay their respects in years to come. 

The location in Glasgow Green is also very fitting because that's where thousands of striking council workers assembled  in October 2018 before marching on to George Square for a rally in support of their struggle for equal pay which continues to this day, of course. 

 



The Tree That Never Grew - Update (26/1/19)



So 'People Power' seems to be alive and well in Glasgow because no sooner had Frances posted on the Equal Pay Facebook page than she received a response from the Council leader, Susan Aitken.

Now if you ask me, the Council leader's response is very odd for two reasons, but first of all here is what Cllr Aitken had to say:



The first thing that's odd is that Cllr Aitken said back on 19 September 2019 that she had already written to 'Neighbourhoods and Sustainability' which is presumably a specific section within a wider council department.


"I can confirm I have written to Neighbourhoods and Sustainability and highlighted the issues you have raised.  When a response is received, I will contact you again."

So why has it taken over two months for the Council leader to respond and why all this time later is Frances being asked to take the issue up again?

Sounds to me like 'pass the parcel' rather than helping to  solve a problem by cutting through council bureaucracy and red tape.

The other thing that's odd is that the Council leader's email is signed off as "Susan Aitken, Scottish National Party, (SNP)" when the issue has nothing whatever to do with party politics or the SNP.

On a separate note, my Glasgow contacts advise me that the Council is supporting a Tree Planting event on Saturday 30th November at Queens Park which has been organised by the Friends of Queens Park.

I hope local people in Glasgow will support this event, but it has to have been weeks or even months in the making, but it begs the question:

"Why has it been such an almighty struggle to persuade the Council to cooperate with the idea of planting a Memorial Tree to remember Glasgow's equal pay claimants?"

 



The Tree That Never Grew - Update (25/11/19)



Glasgow City Council is being strangely unhelpful in response to a request about a Memorial Tree to remember all the Claimants who have passed away during the long fight for equal pay.

Now you would think the officials and politicians would be bending over backwards to help because when it suits the bigwigs Glasgow is one big, happy 'Council Family'.

Yet when it comes to planting a Memorial Tree Frances Stojilkovic is being given the 'run around' by officialdom, so she is asking other Glasgow council workers for support.

If readers do contact the Council leader to make their views known, please remember to keep a civil tongue in your head  - what is being asked of the Council is perfectly reasonable, so resist the temptation to lose your temper over this foot-dragging nonsense.

Here's what Frances has to say on her Equal Pay Facebook page - the Council leader's address, by the way, is: susan.aitken@glasgow.gov.uk


 



Hi Guys

Glasgow's Equal Pay Claimants - Memorial Tree

I wrote to Susan Aitken on 16 September about the suggestion of planting a Memorial Tree for all the Glasgow claimants who have passed away since our fight for equal pay first began.

The Council leader responded three days later on 19 September (see emails below) but I have heard nothing since then, despite sending three reminder emails to Susan asking for a update from the Council

For whatever reason all of my emails have been rudely ignored.

So I would like to ask fellow council workers and Facebook readers for their support by writing direct to Cllr Aitken at the following email address: susan.aitken@glasgow.gov.uk

All we are asking is for the Council to assist in finding a suitable public space where we can plant a lasting memorial to remember our colleagues.

We have the funds to do this and we have the support of the workforce and the families of colleagues who have passed away, but for some strange reason the Council seems reluctant to provide us with any help. 

Please copy me into to any emails you send to Cllr Aitken (to share on Facebook) and let's hope that other people getting involved produces the desired result.


Frances


From: "AitkenSusan (Councillor)" <Susan.Aitken@glasgow.gov.uk
Date: 19/09/2019 12:39 (GMT+00:00) 
To: frances stojilkovic <frances_stojilkovic@hotmail.co.uk
Cc: "Moyies, Elaine (CED)" <Elaine.Moyies@glasgow.gov.uk
Subject: Memorial Tree - acknowledgement from Cllr Aitken

Dear Frances

Thank you for your email.

I can confirm I have written to Neighbourhoods and Sustainability and highlighted the issues you have raised.  When a response is received, I will contact you again.

I trust this is of assistance meantime.

Kind regards,

Cllr Aitken

Susan Aitken


16th September 2019

Dear Councillor Aitken

Glasgow's Equal Pay Claimants - Memorial Tree

As you know, over 200 Equal Pay Claimants have died since the fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council began over 12 years ago.

Earlier this year the Claimants raised money through a 'Go Fund Me' appeal to pay for a lasting tribute to these Claimants and their families. 

Two specific suggestions were put forward at the time: placing a memorial bench and plaque in George Square, and planting of a tree (or trees) in Glasgow Green or some other suitable location.

The memorial bench in George Square was accomplished without any fuss, but the tree planting proposal has proved to be much more difficult - the Council's less than helpful response was simply, "We are no longer in a position to offer memorial trees in Glasgow Green", without any further discussion or explanation.

As you can imagine, this has come as a big shock to the co-workers, friends and families of those who passed away, as we fully expected the City Council to 'pull out all the stops' to help us achieve our goal. 

Instead we are being given the run around or the 'rubber ear', you might say, which is extremely disappointing.

The suggestion has already been made that Claimants should start campaigning on the issue with local Councillors, MSPs and MPs in Glasgow since the Council is not listening to our concerns.

Speaking personally, I think it would be a much better use of everyone's time and energy if the Council and its officials took this project seriously and worked with us to ensure its success. 

On that basis can I ask you to put us in touch with a named Council official who can liaise and work with us in the weeks ahead?

I look forward to your response and would be grateful for a early reply as the issue has been allowed to drag on over the summer months.

Yours sincerely


Frances Stojilkovic 

The Tree That Never Grew - Or Did It? (19/09/11)



As regular readers, know Glasgow City Council has been less than helpful, so far at least, over a proposal to plant a tree in Glasgow Green to remember all the Claimants who passed away during the long-running equal pay dispute.   

Now I have my own ideas about how best to respond, but if you have any suggestions please drop me a note (in confidence, of course) to: markirvine@compuserve.com

Quite why it should be so difficult to get the Council to co-operate on such a straightforward issue is anyone's guess - because you'd think the officials and politicians would be only too glad to help. 

 


The Tree That Never Grew - Or Did It? (16/08/19)



As regular readers know, money was raised earlier this year to fund a Memorial Bench to remember all the Claimants who have passed away during the long-running equal pay dispute with Glasgow City Council.

The monies came from the Glasgow Claimants and their supporters and a bench was duly installed in George Square near the City Chambers (see posts below).

Frances Stojilkovic led this appeal through her Facebook page and around £3,000 was left over after paying for the Memorial Bench, and an idea was put forward to plant a tree in Glasgow Green (or other suitable location) as a way of making a good use of these funds at no cost to the Council, of course.

Frances wrote (by email) to the relevant GGC department  but the answer that came back was: "there is no availability for a commemorative tree in Glasgow Green". 

No sorry, no explanation such as 'this is not the tree planting season' - just 'go away'.

So the ever resourceful Frances decided to email the Council leader, Cllr Susan Aitken, but answer back there came none - not a word, not a cheep, nada. 

Now this surprises me, I have to say.

Because the Council exists to serve the people of Glasgow - to hear their concerns and listen to their suggestions - and this one happens to come from a important part of what GCC likes to refer to as the 'Council Family'. 

Yet on this issue the Council Family (or a significant part of it at least) appears to be on the receiving end of what is known as the 'rubber ear' which is very disappointing.

If you ask me, local people are entitled to expect the Council and its elected Councillors to respond with words like: 'How can I help you?' or 'What can I do for you?' - instead of a rude nil response, or a reply which amounts to 'Get lost!'. 

As lots of readers will know already, Glasgow's famous motto is 'Let Glasgow Flourish' which is based on the story of St Mungo and the tale of:

The tree that never grew,
The bird that never flew,
The fish that never swam,
The bell that never rang.


So let's hope that this commemorative tree request starts to treated more seriously and with much greater respect than has been the case up till now.

If not, I imagine there are lots of people out there who are willing to make this a big issue with Glasgow's politicians since this is one tree that really deserves to grow and flourish - once the Council gets its finger out to find it a suitable home. 


  



Well Done, Glasgow 3 ((07/05/19)



The Memorial Bench in George Square still has its flowers and since the unveiling on Friday other local people have added their own personal tributes.

Every time I pass the spot I meet someone reading the cards, or the inscription, who is interested in knowing more about the background to the bench and the long fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council.

At some point, of course, the flowers will have to be removed and when that happens those sitting on the bench will be looking straight at Glasgow City Chambers.

So the good news is that the Memorial Bench has achieved its intended purpose already. 

  



Well Done, Glasgow 2 (04/0519)



I walked through George Square again yesterday afternoon by which time the equal pay Memorial Bench was in splendid sunshine.

So I thought I would share another photo of the bench along with some of the many messages of heartfelt support posted on Facebook.  

R.I.P πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”


L

Beautiful ❤❤xx

M

Beautiful x

A

What a very emotional day  xx

F

Just beautiful ❤❤

R

It was so nice to finally meet you 😘

M

Big thanks to Joseph Duffy for getting our lovely bench made for us & also to Sean and his colleagues from the Council's Parks Department who ensured that everything went so smoothly on the day πŸ‘Œ❤️

F

thanx guys ❤

E

A lovely tribute to those that died. God bless them all xx πŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’”

P

Beautiful tribute

B

Well done. Lovely tribute ❤️❤️

S

The memory bench for all the workers that have passed while fighting for there Equal Pay they will never ever be forgotten rest in peace each and everyone of them 😒❤️ xxx

D

It was a lovely tribute and for Elaine’s family to turn up made it even more special 😘

M

Looked so touching but beautiful they have not been forgotten may they all RIP well done Frances πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•xxx

T

Just beautiful. Maybe when this is all settled you can have a long holiday and think of yourself Frances. You’re one of the most selfless people I have the pleasure to call my friend.xxx

C

Bench is beautiful as are the flowers. I love that it's positioned facing the Chambers and should serve as a poignant reminder to GCC to never again forget or undermine the value of their workers nor the ones who breathed their last while serving Glasgow. Those gone are in all our thoughts today. πŸ™

M

And the sun was shining for us xx

R

Beautiful tributeπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

A

Well done Frances.x

P

Beautiful tribute. Well done ❤️❤️❤️

S

Beautiful tribute god bless well done ❤️❤️

C

The bench is for everyone, it gives us all comfort. It will give me comfort, I am only in town twice a week and I plan to come and sit here and think of my family friend and close pal that I lost.

R

Very emotional unveiling of the bench dedicated to equal claimants who have passed away. Congratulations to all those that made this happen. It will be a very special memorial that families and colleagues can enjoy and remember. Solidarity everyone xx

GMB




  



Well Done, Glasgow! (03/05/19)


Here is a photo of the Memorial Bench to Glasgow's 'fallen' equal pay Claimants which is sits proudly in George Square facing the City Chambers.


Some lovely flowers were placed on the bench by Action 4 Equality Scotland, Unison and the GMB.

 
Thanks to every who came long - Claimants, family members, GMB and Unison.

 
Thanks also to Sean (in the background) and his colleagues from the Council's Parks Department who ensured that everything went so smoothly on the day.

A special mention as well to Jennifer McCarey from Unison who spoke warmly of the 'fallen' Claimants and people's  sadness at their untimely passing during the 12 year long Glasgow campaign.  

Last but not least a big thanks to Frances Stojilkovic and all the other Claimants who raised the funds and worked so hard behind the scenes to make today happen.

Please visit the Memorial Bench next time you are passing George Square and spare a thought for the fallen Claimants and their families. 

  



In Loving Memory - Glasgow's Fight for Equal Pay

I'm off to George Square this morning for the unveiling of the Memorial Bench to all of the 163 Claimants who have passed away during the long fight for equal pay with Glasgow City Council.


Here's a photo of the flowers that Frances S has ordered for the occasion - other photos will follow later later and hopefully the rain will stay away!


  




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 10am this morning (Friday 3 May) 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. πŸ’ͺ

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 πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ

”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