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Showing posts from September, 2007

EDINBURGH CITY COUNCIL - STOP PRESS

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

South Lanarkshire Council

South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) is going to be a hive of activity over the next few months. South Lanarkshire is the only council in Scotland that is in complete denial over equal pay - see posts dates 1 August and 2 April 2007. SLC says it does not have an equal pay problem and that the council introduced a new and non-discriminatory pay structure back in 2004. Baloney! The fact is that SLC has a bigger problem than any other council in Scotland - because council leaders have their heads stuck in the sand - hoping that if they don't acknowledge the mess they're in, it will somehow go away. SLC has an Employment Tribunal hearing coming up in January 2008 - and Action 4 Equality intends to make the council's behaviour a big local issue over the next few months - with the help of our 1500 clients. We plan to hold a series of local meetings to explain just how dishonest the council's position is and what people can do to help achieve a just outcome over equal pay

ANOTHER FINE MESS!

Trade unions deliberately deceiving and withholding information from their members is, sadly, nothing new - but what's now becoming clear is just how bungling and incompetent they are in dealing with people's equal pay claims. Maybe they're not really committed to the cause, but in any event here's another terrible example of how ordinary union members are treated. As the person is still employed with North Lanarkshire Council, her personal details are being withheld. Like most of her colleagues, R had heard nothing from her trade union (Unison) about equal pay until Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross came along. After years of deliberately keeping their members in the dark, the unions were finally forced off their lazy backsides in 2005 - and shamed into circulating information to members, albeit belatedly and with little enthusiasm, offering to take up their claims. R thought she had a good case (which she did) and contacted the Unison North Lanarkshire branch

TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT (aka Standing on the Shoulders of Giants)

Susan M worked as a Catering Assistant for 27 years until she finally retired in May 2005 - after a lifetime of public service to the City of Glasgow. Susan had heard nothing about equal pay - from anyone - until she watched the BBC Scotland news programme in August 2005 which announced the arrival (in Scotland) of Action 4 Equality and Stefan Cross. As a long-standing member of Unison (formerly NUPE) Susan contacted her local union rep for advice and help - within Glasgow Unison, the largest, most powerful and best resourced branch in Scotland. Susan was sent some paperwork to complete and return, which she did without delay - then she heard nothing for weeks and months. Her calls were seldom returned, but when she did manage to speak with someone she was told not to worry - everything was tickety-boo! Finally, after trying for many months to get some hard information out of the union she had belonged to for so long - Glasgow Unison dropped its bombshell - Susan's claim ha

UNION MEN BEHAVING BADLY

As many ordinary members know, the unions have behaved appallingly over equal pay. Instead of standing up for their members the have been: deliberately keeping people in the dark - for years doing the employers' dirty work over settlement offers putting the interests of traditional male groups above those of lower paid women members The campaign to hold the trade unions to account suffered a setback recently - with the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) overturning a previous landmark judgment against the GMB union. The GMB were found guilty by an Employment Tribunal in Newcastle of discriminating against their low paid women members, which said that the GMB had got its members to agree (to an employer settlement offer) by "using a marked economy of truth". In other words that they deceived their own members! But, incredibly, the EAT (a higher court) recently held that although the GMB did indeed discriminate in this way - the discrimination was lawful. The EAT also h