Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Glasgow - Life and Times



Yesterday's Evening Times published a nice article on Glasgow's new Equal Pay Oak Tree which in planted in the grounds of the People's Palace.

 


https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18291961.we-didnt-want-forget-them-tree-planted-glasgow-green-tribute-workers-died-equal-pay-claim-success/?

'We didn't want to forget them': Tree planted in Glasgow Green in tribute to workers who died before equal pay claim success



By Stacey Mullen - Evening Times


'We didn't want to forget them': Tree planted in Glasgow Green in tribute to workers who died before equal pay claim success

A TREE has been planted in the Glasgow Green in tribute to all the workers who died while awaiting the outcome of an equal pay case against the council.

The poignant tribute was unveiled on International Women’s Day on Sunday in recognition of the mainly female workforce who died during the fight for equal pay.


Pictures Jamie Simpson

The new Oak Tree sits with a plaque that reads: “Glasgow's long fight for equal pay began in 2005.

“Thousands of low paid, mainly female, council workers joined the dispute in the years that followed and voted for two days of strike action in October 2018 - the first strike of its kind in the entire history of Scottish local government.

“The Oak Tree planted here, in the grounds of the People's Palace, is a lasting tribute to the determination of the Glasgow claimants to win this battle and also to their colleagues and fellow council workers who passed away waiting for their equal pay claims to be settled.”


Elaine McNeil was one of the workers who tragically died while doing her job.

The popular 42-year-old, from Possilpark, had a sudden heart attack and collapsed in the street during the Beast from the East storm in 2018.

She was discovered in a garden on Kippen Street in Milton after her family began searching for her when she called her husband to say she felt unwell.

At the time of her death, Elaine was awaiting the outcome of an equal pay case against Glasgow City Council.

But like over 200 of her colleagues, who have died since the claim was first lodged more than a decade ago, she never lived to enjoy the victory.


Frances Stojilkovic, a prominent campaigner during the fight, said: “We thought it was appropriate to unveil the tree on International Women’s Day because all the women fought for years for their equal pay.

“We have been fighting alongside these women for equal pay and now they are not here.”

Frances was a driving force for the tribute by taking responsibility for a fundraising campaign that also saw a memorial bench installed in George Square.

She worked alongside Mark Irvine of Action 4 Equality and Glasgow City Council staff to ensure the tree was planted.

Frances also hopes to install another memorial bench in the park.

Frances said: “It was so important to us to have this memorial to remember our friends and colleagues.

“They worked with us for all these years and we didn’t want to forget them.”

Last year, Glasgow City Council approved plans to finance £548m to settle equal pay claims from almost 16,000 employees, mostly women, going back more than a decade.