Showing posts from January, 2007

Job Evaluation - appeals and advice

Most (but not all) councils in Scotland have by now carried out a Job Evaluation (JE) exercise - which is what they were supposed to do almost 8 years ago, as part of the 1999 Single Status Agreement. Done properly, this JE exercise would have taken at least a couple of years at least and the results backdated. But, as people now realise, the employers and the trade unions sat on their backsides until Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross came along! However, many of the council have gone for a very cheap and cheerful version of what job evaluation is really all about - and have done it all in such a hurry that no one can have confidence in the outcomes. Some of the major concerns are: 1 Jobs have not been evaluated individually 2 Jobs have been evaluated in large and artificial groups 3 Information has been deliberately withheld - for example the scores of all the jobs 4 Traditional male (bonus earning) jobs have been scored more favourably 5 The process has been based on secrecy

Employment Tribunals - latest hearing dates

Here are the latest hearing dates that have been arranged with the Employment Tribunals - others are still in the process of being finalised - details will be posted as soon as anything is confirmed Perth & Kinross Council 7 February - Case Management Hearing Clackmannanshire Council 22 February - Stage 1 Hearing Dundee City Council 23 February - Stage 1 Hearing Tayside Contracts 23 February - Stage 1 Hearing Angus Council 26 February - Stage 1 Hearing Stirling Council 1 March - Stage 1 and Case Management Hearing North Ayrshire Council 1 March - Stage 1 and Case Management Hearing Falkirk Council 6 March - Case Management Hearing North Lanarkshire Council 12 March - Case Management Hearing West Dunbartonshire Council 12 March - Case Management Hearing East Lothian Council 21 March - Case Management and Pre-Hearing Review Glasgow City Council 21 to 26 March - Pre-Hearing Review Midlothian Council 29 to 30 March - Pre-Hearing Review Falkirk Council 24 Apr

Do I have an equal pay claim?

Lots of people still don't realise that they have substantial equal pay claims - equal pay is not just about manual workers - many APT&C workers have every bit as strong a case for equal pay - but the employers don't want you to know, as it will cost them money - and the unions are keen to keep people in the dark as well, otherwise their members will start asking what their contributions have been spent on all these years! Here's a leaflet that's been prepared for Clerical Workers in Glasgow, but the same arguments apply elsewhere and for many other groups including: Classroom/Pupil Support Assistants, Nursery Nurses/Child Development Officers, Social Care Workers, School Janitors/Caretakers etc. GLASGOW & EQUAL PAY A message from Action 4 Equality Clerical workers in Glasgow have always been highly skilled and hard working, but very low paid Despite all the fine words about equal opportunities and equal pay - for many years Glasgow's clerical workers

Frequently asked questions (FAQ's) - 2

Can I sue the trade unions? Yes, if you are a trade union member - you must also be pursuing a claim against your employer as well. The reason being that the unions deliberately kept their members in the dark over equal pay for many years - and when the going got rough, they often sided with the council employers and helped to cheat their own members out of the back pay they were entitled to receive. How much is a claim against my unions worth? It depends on individual circumstances and how the trade union behaved. For example, an employee in Glasgow City Council who accepted a one-off cash payment of £8,000 - would now have a claim worth over £30,000. So, that individual would have a claim for all the money they lost - £22,000 and rising all the time - because of the union's awful advice or its failure to give any advice at all. What is a comparator? A comparator is another worker on the same or a lower grade than you - but who is being paid more than you - despite the fact

Councils - strapped for cash?

Councils are always trying to pretend that they are strapped for cash - which is the excuse they normally use when trying to wriggle out of their obligations on equal pay. Yet, for the second year running, Glasgow City Council has announced a ZERO increase in council tax. In other words, Glasgow has plenty of money and its council tax won't increase by a single penny in 2007/08. Glasgow did the same thing just over a year ago. In the run up to Xmas 2005, the council (aided and abetted by the unions) tried to 'buy out' people's equal pay claims on the cheap - by offering one-off cash payments instead of the back pay employees were really entitled to receive. The council said it had no money, every last penny was being put to good use - they said, the cupboard was bare when it came to equal pay. But a few weeks later - surprise, surprise - the council was so well off that it could afford to announce that Glasgow's council tax would not have to increase at all in 200

Glasgow - new contracts

DON'T PANIC - AND DON'T BE BULLIED There have been lots of calls in the past 24 hours from workers in Glasgow - who are worried about signing the new contract proposed by the council. The trade unions are again doing the council's dirty work by refusing to give their members proper advice - and sitting on the fence. The first point to make is that the council has to give you proper notice of any contractual changes - this is often referred to as 90 days notice. But the council hasn't even given people 90 days notice as yet - and if it does, you will have 90 days to think things through and seek the advice you need before responding. The council is trying to get away with introducing these changes - without following the requirements for 90 days notice. So, there is no need to panic or to get all worked up at this stage - if and when the council issues 90 days notice, we will be able to see what they have to say and this will allow us to issue detailed advice about w

The role of the unions

There are still some good union reps out there - I know because I speak to them all the time - but far too often the unions are prepared to do the dirty work of the employers. In many areas, the compensation offers made by employers were negotiated with the unions - who then tried to frighten and bully their own members into signing away their equal pay rights. That is why they are being sued and held to account by their own members. Stefan Cross has succefully sued the GMB union in the Alan v GMB Employment Tribunal case - where the union was found (unanimously) to have collaborated with the employers against their own low paid union members. So, the times are changing - and union members are beginning to understand that their union owes each and every individual member a 'duty of care' - so you can't just be fobbed off with with a lot of union gobbledegook and told that the officials know best. Union members are entitled to proper advice and a professional level o

Frequently asked questions (FAQ's) - 1

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions - more will be added as time goes by - if you have a query, just send it in. What happens to my claim if I leave my job? Your claim continues with all the rest - the only difference is that it freezes at the point your employment ends because you can't keep adding service to your claim, once you are no longer employed. Can I sue the trade unions? Yes, if you are a union member. The unions sat on their backsides for years - cynically keeping their members in the dark - and they are still striking deals that discriminate against their lowest paid (ma inly women) members. Is it only women workers who can claim? No, male workers have claims as well. For example, Janitors have the same claim as Home Carers (though the unions don't tell their members) because they are on the same old manual worker grade (Grade 5) as the Refuse Driver - yet the driver is paid thousands more than his two colleagues.

What's going on?

Here is a quick update on a variety of topical issues - some local, others national in character Job Evaluation Employers are now doing what they agreed to do back in 1999 - evaluate all jobs to ensure that they are treated fairly and consistently, and in a way that removes pay discrimination. However, many of them are trying to do this on the cheap or in a way that still favours the traditional, higher earning bonus earning jobs. So, the end result is that many people continue to have equal pay claims for years into the future. If you are affected by a new grading structure, insist that your trade union provides advice and support in relation to local appeals - that's what you are paying your union dues for! Glasgow City Council - pay and benefits review Glasgow is trying to bully its workforce into accepting a new set of conditions of service. The package has not been agreed with the trade unions - which shows what a rotten deal it is and why people should be very wary. O

Equal pay news

First of all, a happy and prosperous New Year to everyone fighting for equal pay in 2007! Later this year, we will start to see the first Scotland claims being decided in the Employment Tribunals - the first cases have already been listed for Falkirk Council in April and May 2007 and these will determine the merits of the case not just procedural issues. Hearing dates for other employers will follow and details will be posted here as soon as they are confirmed. The purpose of this site is to bring news about equal pay developments across Scotland and to help answer, as quickly as possible, all the many questions that come flooding into the Action 4 Equality office on a daily basis - by phone, letter and e-mail. The site is interactive - so you can make a comment or ask a question that may be of interest to other people. I will aim to post new information on the site on a weekly basis, or more often if necessary. The best way to contact Action 4 Equality Scotland is: By phone: