Showing posts from 2007

Seasons Greetings!!!

Merry Christmas and compliments of the season to all our clients in Scotland - from Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross! We hope you have a wonderful time over the festive period - and look forward to resuming contact in the New Year. Our Newcastle office is now closed until Thursday 3 January, but will re-open again on that date. In the meantime, Action 4 Equality Scotland and Mark Irvine can still be contacted by e-mail at:

Renfrewshire Council

Renfrewshire Council has become the latest Scottish council to make revised offers of settlement to clients of Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross. The revised offers a re a considerable improvement on the original cash sums proposed by Renfrewshire Council in 2006 - and also recommended for acceptance by the tame local trade unions, don't forget! So, what it comes down to is that old saying: "She who laughs last - laughs longest!" Individual letters will be issued to clients before Xmas and we will be doing everything we can to get people paid their money as quickly as possible in the New Year. As with some other councils, these revised offers are restricted to employees on the old manual worker grades at the moment - but there are many other 'white collar' groups (in Renfrewshire and elsewhere) with perfectly valid equal pay claims. So, these unresolved cases will continue - either until the employers come to their senses and make offers to these groups

North Lanarkshire Council

Contrary to popular belief, North Lanarkshire has not made a mess of its Job Evaluation Scheme (JES). Oh no, the reality is actually much worse than that - because the council has set out , quite deliberately, to treat many women workers less favourably than men in traditional male jobs - see posts dated 6 and 10 December 2007. Senior managers have a lot to answer for - and so too do the trade unions - because they've sat on the sidelines and failed to explain what's been going on to their own members. Sadly, the unions have kept a lid on things - kept their heads down - when their members needed practical advice and strong leadership. What should people do now? Appeal and challenge you grade - if you feel it undervalues your job Demand to know how all NLC jobs have been scored - especially traditional male jobs Submit an equal pay claim as well as an internal appeal - this will take your case outside of the council - to an independent Employment Tribunal The bottom l

Job Evaluation 3

As well as manipulating job evaluation results at the lower end of the scale, North Lanarkshire's scheme does exactly the same as it moves up through the new pay and grading structure. Take grade NLC 6. Now this is not a very high grade - nor does it pay a king's ransom - but it does epitomise how male and female jobs have been treated so very differently - under a scheme that was intended to improve the position of many women's jobs - which had been undervalued for years. Some Traditional Male Jobs on NLC 6 Cleansing Chargehand Estates Maintenance Worker 4 Gardener 3 Gravedigger 3 Chargehand Estate Worker Driver 2 (Refuse Driver) Now all of these people carry out vital and important jobs - and no one is demeaning the work they do - the real issue is why are they treated so differently? Because if the truth be told - all of these jobs are old-fashioned manual worker jobs that have existed for years - jobs that were graded at no more than Manual Worker 4 under

Job Evaluation 2

Even more mysterious than the Cleaners' grading (see post dated 6 December) - is the way in which many other female dominated jobs have fared under North Lanarkshire's Job Evaluation Scheme (JES). Take a Refuse Collector - another important, but essentially unskilled job that require virtually no training and carries little responsibility - and of course it's done overwhelmingly by men whose bonus payments are being protected by the council for years into the future. Before the JES - Refuse Collectors were on a relatively low grade of Manual Worker (MW) 2 - much lower than a Home Help, for example, whose job was graded at MW 5. But after the JES - Refuse Collectors have been placed on NLC 3 under the new pay and grading system - putting them on a par with a huge number of female dominated jobs - jobs that clearly require much greater levels of skill and responsibility. What are these jobs? Home Support Worker, Catering Assistant, Clerical Assistant, Creche Worker

Job Evaluation 1

Hands up! How many employees of North Lanarkshire Council believe that their new Job Evaluation Scheme (JES) has been applied fairly, consistently and in a manner that rewards people properly for the jobs they do? Well, very few it seems if our feedback is anything to go by - probably just the senior managers whose jobs were conveniently left outside the scope of the JES - and of course the local union reps who negotiated and urged members to accept the scheme when it was first proposed. Take the lowest grade in the new pay structure - NLC 1 - as it has been imaginatively called. By a truly amazing coincidence this grade has been solely and exclusively reserved for the job of Cleaner - needless to say a job done overwhelmingly by low paid women workers. Now a Cleaner does a very important job - as do many other council employees - including Road Sweepers which, as everyone knows, is a traditional male and bonus earning job. Before North Lanarkshire's allegedly fairer JE

North Lanarkshire Council

After months of delay and foot dragging by the council, things are now beginning to hot up in North Lanarkshire - more to follow including news from the Employment Tribunals - but here's a brief summary of events so far. In February/March 2006, North Lanarkshire tried to persuade its workforce into accepting a new pay and grading structure. Rather oddly, management and trade unions were singing from exactly the same hymn sheet - that is until Action 4 Equality arrived on the scene and explained to people that they were being sold a pig in a poke. The proposed deal blew up in disarray- as angry North Lanarkshire workers voted the scheme down by an overwhelming majority - after a series of workplace meetings and secret ballot. In the summer of 2006, council managers announced they would press ahead anyway - by imposing the package over people's heads and despite having lost a vote - that was so vital to their plans just months earlier. A key part of the package was a new

School Janitors and Duff Advice

School janitors are a predominantly male group of workers who - along with many others - have been badly let down by poor advice from their trade unions. School janitors were on some of the highest old manual worker grades (MW 5, 6 and 7) reflecting their responsibilities - but just like many women workers they still routinely earned much less than the bonus earning male groups on lower grades - such as refuse workers, gardeners, gravediggers etc. When Action 4 Equality came along and lifted the lid off equal pay - we advised school janitors and other male groups that they too had valid equal pay claims - although they relied on the women workers winning their claims first. At the time, the unions rubbished this advice claims and told their male members that they were wasting their time. In Glasgow, for example, where the GMB union represents most of the school janitors local officials laughed in their members faces - and told them not to waste the union's time. But now the

Edinburgh - Revised Offers

Revised offers from Edinburgh City Council have started going out to Action 4 Equality clients this weekend - at the moment the council is restricting the improved offers to female manual workers. We aim to turn these offers around within a matter of days - so that our clients get their money as quickly as possible. The sooner people return their paperwork, the sooner we can complete the process with the council - which will allow us to release individual cheques. Remember - everyone who case is already underway with Action 4 Equality has an ongoing claim from 1 April 2008 - because the council is going to protect the higher pay of the male workers for years to come. And for as long as the pay gap remains - between these groups of male and female workers - employees in Edinburgh (and elsewhere) have valid and very valuable equal pay claims. Remember, also, that lots of people have perfectly good equal pay claims - but have yet to do something about it - see the two posts date

Edinburgh - Male Claims

Edinburgh City Council is to revisit the issue of making revised offers to male workers on Thursday 20 December 2007 - at the next full council meeting. The council's finance chief - Councillor Gordon MacKenzie - announced in October via the Edinburgh Evening News (see post dated 19 November) that the council would do the right thing by this group of workers. And quite right too - because they do exactly the same jobs as their female colleagues - and to treat them any differently will simply open the council up to more legal challenges and complaints of direct sex discrimination. Action 4 Equality has already been in touch with Councillor MacKenzie - we will be getting back to him again this week urging the finance chief and his fellow councillors to deal with this matter decisively on 20 December. If not, this will make a mockery of Edinburgh City Council's claim to be an equal opportunities employer. Our clients can help - you should lobby your own local councillors

Sandy Burns and Pastures New

Sandy Burns is moving on to pastures new at the end of this week . Sandy has made a great contribution to the work of Action 4 Equality in Scotland - which he joined in the summer of 2006. Every day since, Sandy has dealt with the numerous calls and queries from thousands of Scottish clients in a friendly and helpful manner - remaining courteous, good humoured and professional - even when callers are wound up and incredibly frustrated - more often than not because of the bad behaviour of their employers. So, a heartfelt 'THANK YOU' to Sandy for all his hard work and commitment to the cause - Sandy is moving on to another job in the voluntary sector and we would like to place on record our very best wishes to him for the future! As a result, we are introducing new arrangements for dealing with calls from clients in Scotland - from Monday 3 December onwards all phone enquiries will be dealt with by our Newcastle office. So, in future if you have a query about an existin

West Lothian Council

West Lothian is the latest council to issue new lump sum offers to staff - but these offers are not an improvement on what has gone before - and they cover only part of the period that is still in dispute. So, our advice to people is to reject any new offer at this stage - because it represents a very good deal for the council and a rotten deal for the workforce. Why is West Lothian doing this? For the same reasons as Edinburgh - see post dated 10 November 2007. Many people were duped or frightened into accepting the council's original offer - but the Compromise Agreement that staff were forced to sign (to get their hands on the money) has run out! West Lothian's agreement expired in February 2007 - yet the pay differences between the male and female jobs is as wide as ever - and will continue for years to come. So, having conned the workforce once the council is simply up to its old tricks again - trying to get people to give up their claims for much less than they&#

Edinburgh - Male Claims

Edinburgh City Council's finance chief - Councillor Gordon MacKenzie - made the following statement in the Evening News on Friday 26 October 2007: "The legal advice we had was that we did not have to offer compensation payments to the male manual workers, there was not the same level of risk that there is to female workers." "However, there has been a great deal of discussion within the council over the last week and it was felt that we had to offer both male and female workers the same deal in terms of compensation." "We've basically agreed that people in the same posts should be paid the same salary regardless of their sex, as it was felt we could have left ourselves open to other legal cases if we treated male workers differently." Action 4 Equality reported this news at the time - as a victory for common sense - especially as these individuals (i.e male workers in predominantly female jobs) had previously been offered compensation by th

Equal Pay Bombshell for South Lanarkshire

Great news - South Lanarkshire's cat is finally out of the bag - and women workers in that council will now begin to realise the extent of their betrayal over equal pay. We asked our clients for help - to discover the size of the pay gap between traditional male and female jobs. Remember this is the council that boasted famously: "We don't have an equal pay problem" - South Lanarkshire supposedly sorted things out with a new Single Status pay structure in 2004. We asked people to confirm what the male jobs actually earn - relying on the fact that our clients live and work alongside the men doing these jobs. And boy, oh boy, have they delivered the goods. Personal details will be withheld for obvious reasons - but the results are utterly astonishing - and confirm that the pay gap is much greater than even we imagined. For example, a Refuse Driver is currently paid £11.02 per hour - which is Spinal Column Point (SCP) 44 on the pay ladder - according to a pay s

New Claims - Across Scotland

We've had lots of calls in the past few days regarding the two recent posts about New Claims in Edinburgh (see posts dated 10 November 2007). "Does the same apply in other councils across Scotland?", people want to know. Well, the answer is a very definite YES! All councils in Scotland have deliberately excluded large groups of employees - and despite these people having perfectly valid claims - they have been left out in the cold (see New Claims 1). All councils in Scotland that made cash offers to employees (South Lanarkshire is the exception) continue to pay the women workers much less than the men - and will do so for years to come - so everyone who accepted the first offer can re-start their claim (see New Claims 2). If you need any further advice, ring Action 4 Equality on 0131 667 7956 or contact Mark Irvine at:

Edinburgh - New Claims 2

As well as the groups mentioned in the previous post (Edinburgh - New Claims 1), there's a second category of Edinburgh workers who also have a new equal pay claim - those who accepted the council's first offer in October 2006. Many people were duped or frightened into accepting a cash sum - for much less than their claim was really worth - because of the bully boy tactics of the council and the spineless behaviour pf the trade unions. Why do these people have a new claim? Because the legal document (Compromise Agreement) they were forced to sign - to get their hands on the money - expired in October 2006, but widespread pay discrimination continues to this day! All the traditional male jobs have continued to earn much more than their female colleagues - and this pay gap will continue for years to come. The latest settlement negotiated by Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross in Edinburgh goes up to 1 April 2008 - but those who settled (for much less than they should) ca

Edinburgh - New Claims 1

Edinburgh City Council is in the process of settling some of its equal pay claims - those brought by employees doing 'manual worker' jobs such as cleaners, catering workers and home helps. But there is a much greater group of people who have just as good a claim as the manual workers - and who have not been offered a penny piece by the council - to make up for many years of pay discrimination. Who are they? Classroom Assistants - helping young people get the best out of their education Clerical and Admin Workers - in schools and other council departments Catering Managers - overseeing Edinburgh's school meals service Social Care Workers - providing personal care and support in the community Nursery Nurses - providing early years educational support Why do these groups have an equal pay claim? Because for years they have been paid thousands of pounds a years less than traditional male jobs - such as refuse workers, road workers, gardeners and gravediggers.

Argyll & Bute

Argyll & Bute is the latest council to try and bully its staff into accepting new contracts of employment. The council has written to all employees with the outcome of the (Single Status) Job Evaluation exercise - which determines what people's new grades and rate of pay will be. If they don't accept what's on offer voluntarily, the council says it will simply impose the deal anyway. How's that for good management and modern industrial relations? Predictably, Argyll & Bute is following the same well trodden path of other councils - North Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Fife to name a few. Significantly, the council is providing people the scores of only their own jobs - they want people to make a huge decision completely in the dark - without crucial details of how other employees are being treated. What are they afraid to share this information? Because the council doesn't want the women workers to see how the male jobs have been scored - or to unde

Evening Times 3

The good news is that the article about South Lanarkshire Council and the trade unions appears in today's Evening Times - under the news section and title - Union to Face Legal Battle with Members - The article is much smaller than originally intended - which is disappointing, but it has been squeezed in a good cause - by the coverage of Glasgow's successful bid for the Commonwealth Games. Nevertheless all publicity is good publicity - and this will certainly help keep up the pressure on the council and the trade unions. Knowledge is power - as they say. Every day more people are beginning to understand that Single Status and Equal Pay is a complete joke in South Lanarkshire - and that both the council and the trade unions need to be held to account for their behaviour. We are now receiving confirmation about the pay differences between male and female jobs in South Lanarkshire - and the pay gap is far greater than even we imagined! This

Evening Times 2

Just a quick note to say that the Evening Times article planned for today has been re-scheduled to appear tomorrow - Friday 9 November - this often happens with newspapers, but we'll let you know as soon as the story is published.

Evening Times

The Evening Times newspaper is planning to run a story tomorrow (Thursday 8 November) highlighting some of the shenanigans that have been going on in South Lanarkshire Council - over Equal Pay and Single Status. So let's make sure the story becomes the talk of the steamie in South Lanarkshire. Because that will help turn the spotlight on the council and the trade unions who both have a lot to answer for - especially their behaviour in striking secret pay deals. Deals that have kept women workers and ordinary union members completely in the dark about preferential treatment for traditional male jobs. We will post brief details here as soon as the story is published - along with details of where to find the article on the Evening Times web site. Spread the word to as many people as possible - and use the information to good effect in any meetings that you might be arranging with local Councillors, MSPs and MPs.

Midlothian Council

A client from Midlothian Council has been in touch to say that Learning Assistants have done very badly out of the local pay and grading review - this is not unusual because all too often the employers set out to gerrymander the results - to keep down the costs. Confirmation of the council's bad behaviour quickly followed as the client revealed that new grades had been 'agreed' over the heads of staff - and imposed by management - but without any input or involvement from the Learning Assistants. The council's behaviour breaks all the rules of Job Evaluation - which require staff to be fully involved at every stage. In fact, they are expected to sign off new job descriptions - to ensure that key duties and responsibilities are described accurately and fairly - before being assessed . If this is what's happened to Learning Assistants, pound to a penny it's happened to many other groups of staff as well. What should people do? Don't accept this kind

South Lanarkshire Letters (2)

Lots of clients have been in touch to say that they are members of GMB Scotland - and that their own trade union has behaved every bit as badly as Unison when it comes to Single Status and Equal Pay. So, we have edited the original letter addressed to the local Unison branch - and directed this at the GMB official who covers the South Lanarkshire area, a chap called Alan Duncan. A copy of this letter can be sent to GMB members by e-mail on request - please send any enquiries to: Both Unison and the GMB are now likely to be joined to the Employment Tribunal proceedings that are underway against South Lanarkshire Council. If the unions have signed up to a discriminatory pay and grading structure (as we say), then they are every bit as much to blame as the employer - and they will be held to account when it comes to damages.

Union Dues Rocket - Again!

A client from Edinburgh has been in touch with another example of union dues going through the roof - without a word of warning or explanation to ordinary members. See previous post dated 10 October 2007. This time the culprit is Unison - which has increased the woman's union contributions by £2.50 a month - up from £11.50 to £14.00 in a single bound. Now this represents a whacking great 22% rise - or more than ten times the rate of inflation, depending on which measure you use. If an employer acted this way, the trade unions would be shouting from the rooftops - calling for urgent action to tackle wildly rising charges and for such behaviour to be restrained. But, of course, they won't because that would simply encourage members to ask awkward, if entirely reasonable, questions such as: "How can Unison possibly justify such an extraordinary increase - and what does the union plan to spend all the extra money on?" One place it will go is straight onto the co

South Lanarkshire Letters

Just a quick note to say that we can e-mail clients with copies of the two recent equal pay letters for use in South Lanarkshire Council - see posts dated 1 November 2007. One letter is aimed at Councillors/MSPs/MPs - the other is turning the spotlight on the role of the trade unions, in particular the local Unison branch. We can e-mail an edited version of these articles to you - for use as a straightforward letter only (i.e. without the introduction and explanation) - which might make it easier for people to download, print off and use locally. You will still have to include you own details (address and post code) - and date and sign the Unison letter. You will have to do the same with the Councillor/MSP/MP letter, but in this case you will also need to decide which local politician to approach for help in persuading the Council to behave properly. Please send any e-mail requests to:

South Lanarkshire Council - letter to Unison

Stephen Smellie (pronounced Smiley, not Smelly) is the Unison branch secretary in South Lanarkshire Council. But Stephen (a former left-wing firebrand and supporter of Militant - which grew into the Scottish Socialist Party) has been strangely quiet on the subject of Equal Pay. As quiet as a mouse in fact - or even a Trappist Monk - because Stephen appears to have lost the ability to speak up for union members. South Lanarkshire Council says that its Single Status pay structures were agreed by Unison and the other trade unions - but Stephen and his colleagues have remained silent while the row over Equal Pay and Single Status has raged in the press and media. So, what is the position of Unison and the other trade unions - have they reached a collective agreement with the council and, if so, why are ordinary members being kept in the dark? Here's a letter union members can send to their Unison branch secretary - which will help put Unison and the other trade unions on the

South Lanarkshire Council - letter to Councillors, MSPs and MPs

At a recent Action 4 Equality meeting in South Lanarkshire we agreed to provide clients with a letter that will help get a message across to local Councillors, MSPs and MPs. Well here it is - the letter is not asking anyone to take sides at this stage - simply for their help in putting the facts on the table - so that everyone can judge for themselves how the council has behaved in introducing a new (Single Status) pay and grading structure. All you need to do is date the letter - and add your name and address before sending it off to the Councillor, MSP or MP of your choice. If you need any further help, contact Action 4 Equality on 0131 667 7956. Address and Date Dear Councillor/MSP/MP South Lanarkshire Council - Single Status and Equal Pay I am looking for your support in finding out exactly how Single Status has been implemented in South Lanarkshire Council. Under normal circumstances this information should be readily available to staff and others, but up till now counc

Red Faces in North Ayrshire!!!!

North Ayrshire Council was left with egg all over its face today - as senior council officials were forced to abandon their case on Day 2 of a hearing scheduled for 3 Days. To add insult to injury, the Employment Tribunal also awarded costs against the council for wasting every one's time - a lesson for employers everywhere! North Ayrshire had been arguing (ludicrously) that many of our clients claims were time barred - because of changes that had taken place to their jobs in 2005. But having heard evidence from various quarters - the upshot was that the council simply shot itself in both feet (from close range) - and there was no case to answer. A great WHOOP went up from the waiting room when our clients heard the news - the council was being forced to abandon a previously unshakeable position - on which senior officials were staking their lives only minutes before. The same (and very highly paid officials) now need to explain to their political masters - just how they

North Ayrshire Council

North Ayrshire Council is up to its old tricks again . A pre-hearing review is scheduled for next week (29, 30 and 31 October) and the arrangements for the hearing have been under discussion for some time. Stefan Cross suggested a test case involving only a few members of staff to minimise the disruption for everyone involved. But for reasons known only to itself the council refused to play ball and has suddenly refused permission for any staff to attend during working time - which we believe to be a deliberate wrecking tactic on their part. Stefan Cross wrote to all clients affected by this hearing late last week - urging people to attend the hearings. But by refusing to grant time-off North Ayrshire is deliberately making it impossible for most people to attend - unless they already have a scheduled day off. We have spoken to a number of clients and have been told that the council arranged a hasty ring around on Friday - though outside office hours (i.e. after 5pm) - to sa


Good news to report from Edinburgh! The city council has now backed down and agreed to make revised settlements to male workers in predominantly female posts - i.e. carers, cooks, cleaners and so on. The council said previously that it would not make new offers to these groups (for reasons known only to itself) - which caused a well deserved storm of protest in the local press and a flood of complaints to local councillors. So, it just goes to show that making a fuss and giving the politicians a hard time - can make a big difference. Well done to everyone who lent a hand - and forced the council to think again!

Lobbying Councillors and MSPs

If you are in the process of seeking a meeting with your local councillor or MSP to discuss equal pay - always remember that things have improved a great deal under the fairer voting systems that now apply in Scotland's councils and the Holyrood Parliament (Westminster still has some way to go). Choice First of all, you have much more choice - you're no longer stuck with one party rule and stony faced politicians who are prepared to do no more than repeat the agreed party line. Councillors Scotland's council wards are now typically made up of 3 or 4 councillors - there is not just one councillor for your local area. So, if you're being fobbed off by someone who's not really interested in your case or what you have to say - go and see one of the other councillors. And let the first one know that you will remember how they've behaved at election time. MSPs Scotland's MSPs fall into two categories - individual MSPs who represent a single constituency a

Evening Times

The Evening Times has a good article in today's paper about equal pay in South Lanarkshire - which can be read online at: The article has a great quote from one of our clients - that the council is in denial over equal pay and that people are not going to give up and go away - just because the council has its head stuck in the sand. Another local paper - the Rutherglen Reformer - has been in touch on the back of the Action 4 Equality meeting held in Blantyre last week - and is likely to have its own report when the paper comes out later this week. We could do with similar coverage in the Hamilton Advertiser and East Kilbride News - for anyone living in these areas. So, local people speaking to their local newspapers is a very good way of getting our message across - but always remember to keep your name and personal details out of the story to avoid any repercussions from council management. Journalists will always be happy to respect your confidentia

South Lanarkshire Council

150 people attended a packed Action 4 Equality meeting in Blantyre last night (Wednesday 10 October) - to consider ways of turning the heat up on South Lanarkshire Council. Lots of good ideas came out of the meeting and these will be followed up soon. In the meantime, here are some of the questions and answers raised on the night: Do employees in South Lanarkshire Council have the same claims as anywhere else? Yes, because the pay gap between traditional male and female jobs in South Lanarkshire is just as great as it it in Glasgow, Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland. Do the traditional male jobs in South Lanarkshire still receive bonus payments? No, but these payments have simply been absorbed into basic salaries - so a refuse worker is paid thousands of pounds a year more than a carer - just like everywhere else What kind of jobs can bring an equal pay claim? Home Carers, Cleaners, Catering Assistants, Cooks, Catering Managers, Escorts, Classroom Assistants, Clerical Wo

Union Dues = Union Blues

An irate client - and member of the GMB - has been in touch to say that her union dues have been increased by an unbelievable amount, but without her prior knowledge or agreement. Previously she paid £2.46 every fortnight to the GMB, but right out of the blue this figure suddenly jumped to £5.02 - more than double, in fact - and without any warning or letter to explain what was going on. Seems incredible, but they're you are! Now, this can't be down to the great job the GMB has done over equal pay - quite the opposite, as many people realise. Truth is that if union dues were based on performance, the GMB would owe its members a full refund - for sitting around on their lazy backsides all these years. Not surprisingly, the client has cancelled her membership - but has asked us to spread the word and encourage other union members to check their pay slips as well. " I have paid union dues for 35 years and if it wasn't for Action 4 Equality, I know full well that

North Lanarkshire - contact details

Here are some handy contact details for MPS and MSPs in the North Lanarkshire Council area - similar information for local councillors will follow: MSPs - Constituency Members Karen Whitefield (Labour) Airdire and Shotts: Elaine Smith (Labour) Coatbridge and Chryston: Cathie Craigie(Labour) Cumbernauld and Kilsyth: Michael McMahon (Labour) Hamilton and Bellshill: Jack McConnell (Labour) Motherwell and Wishaw: MSPs - Regional List Members Margaret Mitchell (Conservative): Hugh O'Donnell (liberal Democrat): Hugh.O' Linda Fabiani (SNP): Jamie Hepburn (SNP): Christine McKelvie (SNP): Christine.

North Lanarkshire Council

There have been lots of calls from clients in North Lanarkshire recently - asking for an update on the progress of claims in that area. The position in North Lanarkshire is exactly the same as everywhere else - people's claims are all working their way through the Employment Tribunals - and as soon are there is any news or progress to share, the details will be reported here on this web site . It's true that more and more councils are signalling a desire to reach a settlement - along similar lines to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling - and we hope to be making further announcements (regarding other councils) in the next couple of weeks. But the employers are not settling out of charity or because they suddenly want to be kind to their staff! No, these councils are settling because the law on equal pay is the same right across the country. And the employers can see that it will cost them even more, if cases go all the way through the Employment Tribunal process. In the a

Edinburgh City Council

As reported previously, Edinburgh Council has agreed a settlement on equal pay - but not all groups of staff are included in the agreement, which awaits final ratification by the full council on 25 October 2007. Not because of the lack of trying on the part of Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross,it has to be said. But at this stage the council is only prepared to make revised offers to what they call manual worker staff - even though the term manual worker supposedly became obsolete many years ago, in 1999 to be exact. Whatever Edinburgh Council says - the truth is that equal pay is really about the skills and responsibilities required required to do any two jobs that are being compared - not about whether one job was previously classified as 'manual' or 'white collar' (APT&C). The important thing - in equal pay terms at least - is whether the employer can justify the pay gap between groups of predominantly male and and female jobs - which, of course, managemen


Good news to report from Edinburgh! After much humming and hawing, Edinburgh City Council has finally confirmed that it will definitely be making revised offers to clients of Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross. We had not heard from the Council on Thursday as agreed. So, by Friday lunchtime we had no option but to signal our intention of stepping up the campaign and to take our case to directly to Edinburgh´s elected councillors. But very late on Friday, word suddenly came through that the Council had finally got its act together and would stop messing about - as it has been over the summer months. So, while our plans to take the campaign to elected councillors won't now be necessary - our ability and willingness to do so proved crucial in the end. Individual offers to Action 4 Equality/Stefan Cross clients are likely to be issued in late October with payments being made in November. We will post other information here, as soon as details are confirmed.

Edinburgh City Council

Edinburgh City Council promised to get back to us about the proposed settlement offers by close of play on Thursday (13 September) - following a meeting that day of the council`s senior management team. Not for the first time, the council has failed to keep to its own deadline. As of midday on Friday, we can only conclude that the lack of contact from the council means that elected councillors are trying to renege on the agreement that is being recommended to them - by both senior officials and the council`s external legal advisers. So, as things stand the fight goes on - and the best response we can make is to put Edinburgh councillors under pressure to think again. See the post dated 18 August regarding Home Care Coordinators in Glasgow. When Glasgow City Council tried to renege on their agreement, they didn`t take it lying down - they got organised and fought back. And that´s exactly what we need to do now in Edinburgh! Contact details for all Edinburgh councillors can b