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Showing posts from May, 2007

Settlement Offers - Glasgow

Letters of settlement to clients in Glasgow will start going out today - Wednesday 30 May. There has been a delay in receiving detailed information from Glasgow City Council, but this has finally arrived - and the intention is still to make payments by no later than 30 June 2007. All those to whom the council is making a revised offer should receive a letter by the end of the week. All those to whom the council is not making a revised offer at this stage - will continue with their claims. The council's revised offer covers the period up to and including 31 March 2006. All those who remain in the council's employment have an ongoing claim from 1 April 2006 - and for a further 3 years at least - because of the council's decision to protect the higher pay of the male groups.

Latest hearing dates

Here are the latest Case Management hearing dates that have been agreed with the Employment Tribunals. 11 June 2007 Argyll & Bute Council - Glasgow 12 June 2007 Stirling Council - Glasgow 12 June 2007 East Ayrshire Council - Glasgow 13 June 2007 Renfrewshire Council 13 June 2007 South Lanarkshire Council - Glasgow 14 June 2007 North Ayrshire Council - Glasgow 14 June 2007 West Dunbartonshire Council - Glasgow 15 June 2007 East Renfrewshire Council - Glasgow 27 June 2007 Clackmannanshire Council - Glasgow 08 August 2007 Falkirk Council - Glasgow 15 August 2007 East Dunbartonshire Council - Glasgow 21 August 2007 Midlothian Council - Edinburgh 21 August East Lothian Council - Edinburgh North Lanarkshire Council A date for the next North Lanarkshire hearing is still being discussed behind the scenes - the council has until 8 July to respond to various procedural issues raised at the last ET hearing - so the next one will take place sometime a

New Contracts - Glasgow City Council

At the end of March 2007, Glasgow City Council announced that it would be imposing the terms of its Pay and Benefits Review on all council employees - including those who had still to sign up to the new contract. The council issued a letter stating that the new contract would come into effect from April onwards whether people liked it or not. This should have meant that everyone went on to the same rate of pay - and that people were paid the back money they were due for the period April 2006 to March 2007. But the council has now reneged on this promise and gone back on its word - and not for the first time either. Some people who accepted the new contract - reluctantly or otherwise - have now been told that they will stay on a lower rate of pay (for how long no one seems to know) and that they will not receive the back pay they had been led to expect. The council's behaviour is vindictive and bullying - to say one thing and then go back on its word is a disgrace and employ

GLASGOW - STOP PRESS

Glasgow City Council has encountered some technical problems in connection with its offer of settlement letters to Stefan Cross - which means that letters will not start to be sent out to clients until next Monday at the earliest - i.e. Monday 21 May 2007. However, this delay should not affect the planned timetable for payment - and the process should still be completed by 30 June 2007 at the latest. We willl make an announcement here - as soon as things get underway - so watch this space.

Empty Promises and Equal Pay

You Scotland recently published the following article on equal pay - it can also be read on-line at their interactive and informative web site: www.youscotland.com Hands up, who supports equal pay? Everyone does, don't they,because Scotland has come a long way since women worked just for 'pin money'. But, if this is true, why are so many women workers still paid so much less than their male colleagues? Especially when women have had the law on their side - the 1970 Equal Pay Act - for almost 40 years! The answer is that employers and trade unions have turned a blind eye to widespread pay discrimination for years. This explains why council carers - with highly demanding and responsible jobs - earn less then relatively unskilled male jobs, such as refuse workers and road sweepers. Whatever they say about an unshakeable commitment to equality, the big public sector employers have been quietly defending the indefensible for years - and the trade unions have been prepared

DIY Trade Unions

A client from Edinburgh has been in touch to ask if she can transfer an equal pay claim from her trade union to Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross. The reason being that she has received a letter from the union to say that they are processing her claim - but it goes on to ask her if she can provide information about the earnings of likely male comparators! Now this really is crazy - and takes the biscuit for sheer cheek. The unions know fine well what their male members are paid - after all they negotiated the higher rates of pay with the employers in the first place - so asking their women members to supply these details is simply dishonest. The unions have also been taking contributions off most of their members for many years - millions and millions of pounds when it's all added up - asking their women members for some Do- It-Yourself help with complex legal issues is deliberately misleading - in fact treating people like fools! So, the answer to the client who raised

Edinburgh City Council - STOP PRESS

A client from Edinburgh City Council has been in touch to say that she has received a letter from Unison - belatedly asking if she wants help from the union in possibly pursuing an equal pay claim! Unison - rather late in the day - has decided that APT&C staff (as well as manual workers) may well have a valid equal pay claim against their employer - which is what Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross have been saying for years. Unison is worried because - as well as pursuing the council - many people are also now suing their trade unions because of the union's failure to advise and support members properly over equal pay - many union members have lost thousands of pounds because of union negligence. So, Unison are just trying to cover their backsides rather than taking a serious interest in their members rights to equal pay - if the latter were true they would have been encouraging members to pursue cases years ago. Our advice - to existing Action 4 Equality/Stefan Cross clie

Midlothian Council - STOP PRESS

A client from Midlothian Council has been in touch to say that the management are in the process of issuing new contracts of employment to staff. We have asked for a copy of the paperwork to be sent to us - so that we can assess whether or not signing a new contract would have an adverse effect on people's equal pay claims - which may well be the case. So, our advice at the moment is - NOT TO SIGN ANYTHING AT THIS STAGE - we will issue more detailed advice - either via the web site or by letter - once we have a had a chance to study the detail of what the council has to say.

Agenda for Change = Unfair and Discriminatory

Agenda for Change is a job evaluation scheme - pure and simple - it's not rocket science and it's supposed to do what it says on the tin - i.e. assess and rank NHS jobs in an objective, fair and consistent manner. But Agenda for Change was cobbled together in a great hurry - and only after a series of successful equal pay claims in the Cumbria NHS Trust sent the employers and the trade unions into a panic. For years before they had been happy to negotiate grading structures that paid male tradesmen and technicians much more than nurses and other predominantly female jobs. So Agenda for Change was born with a very specific agenda in mind - and it was conceived by the very same people who had turned a blind eye to the scandal of equal pay in the NHS for years. Now these same people will say that Agenda for Change is fair - that it rewards NHS employees for the skills that they use in their jobs - and that it doesn't discriminate against women, or anyone else for that ma

NHS Update

A case management hearing for Scotland's NHS equal pay claims was held on Tuesday 1 May 2007. Progress is still tortuously slow - the NHS employers are dragging their feet pretending they don't have the information they've been asked to provide about male comparators - by the employment tribunal. The employers were asked back in October 2006 to provide details of all job titles and rates of pay for all NHS posts - the reason being that this would make it possible to see - at a glance - the different salaries and rates of pay that apply to different male and female jobs. This would also allow a date for a Stage 1 hearing to be agreed - which would set in place a timetable for dealing with all the outstanding NHS cases. At a Stage 1 hearing all the parties (the employers, trade unions, Action 4 Equality/Stefan Cross) would be required to spell out exactly where they stand in relation to Agenda for Change. The NHS employers say Agenda for Change is not discriminator

Unison News

A client has been in touch to say that the latest edition of the Unison Magazine is bad mouthing Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross - by advising union members to steer clear of us because we're only in it for the money etc, etc, etc. That's a bit rich coming from Unison which has been charging its members millions of pounds over the years - in union contributions - while deliberately keeping them in the dark about equal pay - and, of course, the huge differences in pay between male and female workers. The fact is that Unison (along with the other unions) has been prepared to turn a blind eye to the problem - and has only taken an interest in the issue since Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross came along - and let their cat out of the bag. What really annoys the unions is that we're doing what they should have been doing for the past 7 or 8 years - using the law (which is on the side of local council and NHS workers) to get after the employers. Action 4 Equality/Stef