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Showing posts from August, 2009

GMB Gobbledegook

A Glasgow reader has been in touch to ask how the GMB has the brass neck to offer comments about settlement discussions with Glasgow City Council? Especially when the union is not even involved - in the ongoing test case before the Glasgow employment tribunal. Well the answer is really simple and lies in the question. The GMB has a brass neck so shiny you can see your own reflection - and the union has no shame about trying to jump onto any passing bandwagon. Like so much the unions have to say - the GMB's comments are full of bluster and gobbledegook. Glasgow City Council knows that only too well - which is why they have been in settlement discussions with Action 4 Equality Scotland and Stefan Cross - and not the unions. The next set of hearings involving Glasgow City Council gets underway on 10 September 2009 - these are about the challenge to the Council's Compromise Agreements - which many people signed back in 2005. Needless to say - the unions are not involv

Pay Freezes and Hell Freezes

Today’s newspapers are full of angry quotes from union leaders about a possible pay freeze for Scotland’s council workers. COSLA, the Scottish employers’ organisation, has suggested a 5-year pay freeze might be needed because of the recession – and the expected cuts in financial support from central government. Now this 5 year business will never happen – but nonetheless it’s the opening two-step in a ritual dance – that the employers’ and unions’ engage in from time to time. The employers’ say ‘white’ and the unions say ‘black’. The employers’ say: “Oh yes we will!”, and the unions say: “Oh no you won’t!” – and then things trundle forward for a while – everyone talking, but no one listening. The big guns from the unions get wheeled out to say that a pay freeze for even 1 year is unthinkable – never mind 5! And anyway how can the nasty employers even dream of harming the interests of low paid cooks, cleaners, care workers and clerical staff? Now all of this is harmless enough

South Lanarkshire

The recent meetings in South Lanarkshire were a great help with preparations for the forthcoming challenge to the council’s job evaluation scheme (JES). Remember – the hearing gets underway in Glasgow on 29 and 30 September 2009 – see post dated 2 July. We also gathered some useful feedback on other issues as well. Apparently, Unison has circulated thousands of glossy information leaflets locally – the usual propaganda containing lots of brave talk about taking up people’s equal pay claims. But the union forgot to tell people that this great zeal and appetite for equal pay - doesn’t apply in South Lanarkshire. Because there’s not a single union backed case underway in South Lanarkshire – up till now it’s been an equal pay free zone - as far as the unions are concerned. In fact, the council claims that the unions were right behind the new pay and grading structure – and that the unions actively supported management in bringing in the new JES. Despite the fact that the new ‘sing

Glasgow and Equal Pay

Readers may have noticed a piece in The Herald newspaper today - about Glasgow City Council and Equal Pay. Mark Irvine has responded to the reporter who wrote the article - and here's what he had to say: Dear Gerry (Braiden), Glasgow and Equal Pay I read your piece in The Herald today - but the article contained some glaring inaccuracies and the 'informed comment' element was almost entirely based on anonymous union propaganda. First of all, Stefan Cross has every right to practice in Scotland - and to suggest otherwise is simply untrue and potentially defamatory. The fact of the matter is that without Stefan Cross Solicitors and Action for Equality Scotland - equal pay would be dead in the water in Scottish local government. No one would have received a single penny in compensation - in Glasgow or elsewhere. The reality is that the trade unions kept their women members in the dark about equal pay for years - and that suited the employers just fine. The unions may

Top Hats and Boiler Suits

Another great story to appear in the press recently concerns William McIlvanney - one of Scotland's most celebrated and talented writers. McIlvanney revealed that he turned down an OBE in the Queen’s honours list – and went on to compare the honour to "putting a top hat on a man in a boiler suit". William McIlvanney explained that his decision was private - unlike that of artist and writer John Byrne - the inspiration behind the smash hit series Tutti Frutti - and all the madness involving The Majestics, Eddie Clockerty and Miss Toner. But John Byrne was making a serious point - when he rejected an MBE for services to art and literature recently - to signify his "absolute disgust" at the Iraq war. William McIlvanney told the Scotland on Sunday that had written to Downing Street to say he would not be accepting the OBE for "purely personal" reasons. "It's something that I tried on in my mind, and I found it didn't fit," he explain

Union Fires Official for Taking Side of Low Paid Women

Another fascinating article appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Herald – here are the key details of the piece - written by Paul Hutcheon. Union Fires Official for Taking Side of Low Paid Women A veteran trade union negotiator has been sacked in the middle of a multi-million pound dispute over equal pay. Ken Seaward, a Unison regional organiser, was dismissed by his union after a fall-out over how to handle the thousands of pay claims made by low paid women. The 59-year old, who was fired for alleged misconduct, is understood to be a staunch critic of Unison urging its members to settle for a figure that protects councils from having to cut their budgets. Female workers are currently pursuing equal pay claims. It is estimated that around 35,000 cases have been lodged with employment tribunals. However, it is understood that tensions exists within Unison on how to approach equal pay claims. Senior union officials have in the past urged female members to sign “compromise” deals wit

Glasgow Pay Bonanza - For Councillors

Councillors in Glasgow are enjoying an unprecedented pay bonanza - according to a report in today's Sunday Herald. The report by Paul Hutcheon can be read on line at - www.sundayherald.com Apparently Glasgow councillors are sharing around £400,000 in top-up payments for sitting on bodies funded by the city council - some key extracts from the report are detailed below. Dozens of politicians on Glasgow City Council are benefiting financially from the policy of setting up or bankrolling "arm's-length" organisations to deliver public services. Until recently, these arm's length companies were part of the council - and overseeing what went on was just like everything else - part of an elected councillor's day to day responsibilities. Scotland's councillors all now receive a minimum salary of £16,234 - as well as pension rights. A limited number in each council - carrying out senior roles - are paid more to reflect their additional responsibilities as le

North Lanarkshire Caves In

Good news for clients in North Lanarkshire – the council has caved in and abandoned the appeal hearing scheduled for 4 September 2009. The council’s decision clears the way for a GMF or ‘defence’ hearing - where North Lanarkshire has to try to explain and justify - the big differences between male and female jobs. The appeal hearing affected all the Home Carers – with the council arguing that they had been reorganised and re-graded several years ago. So, the council argued that the carers should not be treated in the same way as other ‘former manual workers’ - for equal pay purposes. But the council finally faced up to the inevitable - that it would lose this argument at the forthcoming appeal hearing – and has walked away from its own case at the eleventh hour. The frustrating thing in all of this is that the council has been wasting time and public money with these deliberate stalling and time wasting tactics. It’s a public disgrace that so many council employees have been

South Lanarkshire Meetings

Preparations are well underway for a series of vital equal pay hearings involving South Lanarkshire Council. A Pre -Hearing Review ( PHR ) gets underway on 29 September to test the validity of the council’s job evaluation scheme ( JES ). Two meetings are being held next week to identify possible witnesses - who might be called upon to give evidence about their experience of the council’s JES . We are asking a selection of clients from South Lanarkshire to help with this task. We don’t need to see or speak to all 2,000 claimants, but anyone who would like to come along is welcome. You can choose a time (between 2pm – 5pm) and venue to suit yourself and the meetings are being held in East Kilbride and Rutherglen : Monday 24 August 2009 - between 2pm and 5pm Torrance Hotel 135 Main Street The Village East Kilbride G74 4LN Wednesday 26 August 2009 - between 2pm and 5pm Kings Park Hotel Mill Street Rutherglen Glasgow G73 2 LX We are interested in learning more about h

North Lanarkshire - Union Claimants

A number of readers from North Lanarkshire have been in touch - to say that further settlement offers are being made to union claimants. The offers apparently cover the 3 year protection period for the male workers' bonus earnings - following the introduction of the council's job evaluation scheme (JES). What people want to know is: What is the real value of my claim for this period? Does the offer include a payment for overtime working? Is the offer reasonable - taking all the circumstances into account? What is the union's advice - should I accept or reject the council's offer? Now none of this is rocket science - people can and should be given straight answers to the questions by their trade unions. If the union is reluctant to explain and answer these points - something is plainly wrong - and it may be that people are having the wool pulled over their eyes. If you've been made such an offer - and want to check that you're not being led up t

Action 4 Equality Scotland - and the unions

Here’s another catch up post from July Actions speak louder than words Action 4 Equality Scotland has led the fight for equal pay for the past 4 years – when the unions were in the driving seat equal pay was dead in the water. It’s clear some employers are hoping the unions will make a comeback – because they regard the unions as a soft touch – just look at their antics in Edinburgh (see post dated 18 August) where Unison is lining up alongside the employer. We have a track record of achieving much better settlements than the unions – and we’ve told people the truth about equal pay from Day 1. We are currently in settlement discussions with various councils including Glasgow, Falkirk and Edinburgh. Can I switch my equal pay claim to Stefan Cross? Yes, of course you can – all you need to do is to give written authority to transfer your case – if you need any help ring Action 4 Equality Scotland on 0845 300 3 800 or drop Mark Irvine a note at: markirvine@compuserve.com The unions say

Angry Union Members

Here’s another repeat post from 23 July – for any readers who were on holiday at the time. The calls and e-mails keep coming in from angry readers - who say they were told a lot of nonsense about transferring their equal pay claim to the unions. Some people were panicked by false reports about hidden charges - others by daft stories about Stefan Cross going out of business. One person was rightly outraged that a union claimed to be acting on her behalf – even though she had never been a member of that union. But in any event, the good news is that none of this union propaganda is true – and that any problems can be put right very quickly. You can switch your claim back to Action 4 Equality Scotland and Stefan Cross very easily – and given how the unions often treat their members - that’s exactly what people are now doing. Here’s what one reader has to say: “As a union member for over six years I have had a few dealings with them, but I never get anywhere. You pay your money and

Big Stink in Auld Reekie

Here’s some information that was originally posted on 25 July – it explains how the unions talk a good fight on equal pay, but all too often end up letting their members down – by siding with the employers. Edinburgh City Council has been dragging its feet over equal pay for many long months – but they’ve now found a strange ally in the shape of Unison. Come to think of it – maybe it’s not so odd – because the employers and unions are often scratching each other’s backs. Anyway, the point is this – Stefan Cross has been pressing the council and the Employment Tribunal to set a date for a full GMF or ‘defence’ hearing. A GMF hearing is where the council has to explain and try to justify the big pay differences between male and female jobs. Yes – the very same pay differences that the employers and the unions kept hidden from the female workers for years. The council knows fine well it has no credible defence at such a hearing – and it has been playing for time - trying to delay th

Glasgow and the GMB

As regular readers know, the GMB has been running a concerted poaching claim in Glasgow for the past few months. Clients of Stefan Cross/Action 4 Equality Scotland have been told all kinds of nonsense - in an effort to scare people into transferring their claims to the GMB. Yes, the same union that’s done so little to promote equal pay for its women members all these – for all these years – that’s why the union poaching campaign has failed to make much impact. But the good news is that the GMB’s poaching campaign has actually rebounded. Clients are returning to Action 4 Equality Scotland by the day – as people realise that pursuing a claim with the union is a really bad idea. Why? Because the GMB is not even involved in the big GMF or ‘defence’ hearing with Glasgow City Council – which has been underway since June . The hearing is due to resume later this month - at the end of August. Glasgow is keen to reach a further settlement – but the council is talking to Action 4 Equa

Jings, Crivvens and Help Ma Boab!

Pssst! Have you heard the news? Celtic Football Club has appointed a new manager – for the 2009/10 football season. Someone who’s not Scottish – dare we say it, the chap’s actually from................England! As far as we know there have been no pickets at Parkhead – and, so far, no public disorder in the streets. But Unison (Scotland) has not spoken - yet. And we know that the union has a bit of a chip on its shoulder about non-Scots coming up north – telling us locals what to do, how to do it and generally throwing their weight around. So, the west of Scotland is holding its collective breath – since we all know that there must be some Celtic fans amongst the ranks of Unison (Scotchland). Now most sane people don’t give a fig that Tony Mowbray is from the north east of England. Because what has that got to do with his ability as a football manager? Although – you have to admit – it’s a strange coincidence that Stefan Cross hails from that part of the country as well. So,

Obama and the unions

Barack Obama – the new American President – is all over the airwaves and news programmes at present - fighting for the future of his ambitious package of health care reforms. The new president is aiming to improve the lot of 50 million or so Americans - who are effectively excluded from health care under the present system. And he’s taking a stick to his political opponents. Castigating them for being on the side of the status quo – for being conservative and stuck in their ways – unable or unwilling to challenge the vested interests - that stymie and prevent progress at every turn. The same vested interests who benefit from keeping things the way they are now – yet who also proclaim themselves as champions of excellence and fair play. In doing so, the President Obama points out – perceptively - that defenders of the status quo always: • gang up with their political allies • spread fear and alarm with wild rumours and scare stories • place expensive attack adverts to discredit

MPs' Expenses - The Mask Slips

Alan Duncan - the Tory shadow leader of the house - has let the cat out the bag with some ill-judged and unguarded comments about MPs' expenses. During a recent interview - but without realising his remarks were being recorded - Mr Duncan said that MPs were being forced to live on "rations" and that MPs had been treated like "shit". Mr Duncan's private remarks contrast with his public statements - about understanding public anger over MPs' expenses and the need for Westminster to be seen to rebuild public trust and confidence. But there's the rub - as soon as MPs think the heat is off - they bring in new 'rules' that allow honourable members to claims thousands of pounds in expenses - but without having to produce a single receipt. And that's the real scandal, many MPs - across all political parties - really do believe that £25 a day is just so much loose change. Why should they have to account for what they spend? Until MPs are s

Many Hands Make Light Work

Just a quick note to thank all the readers from Glasgow who responded so quickly to the call for assistance - regarding the council's Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR). See post dated 7 August 2009 - Calling Glasgow. We now have all the information we needed about current payment levels for Non Standard Working Patterns and Working Context and Demands. We will have some interesting things to say about these payments in the days ahead - so watch this space!

Windy Rhetoric and Hidden Agendas

The trouble with the unions is that they’re not open, transparent organisations – they’re full of windy rhetoric, spin and hidden agendas. Instead of doing what’s in the best for ordinary union members – the unions are far too often influenced by party politics. What you see and what you get – are two different things. Take their campaign to poach ongoing clients from Action 4 Equality Scotland and Stefan Cross – they tell people a lot of baloney and spread scare stories which are simply not true. But what they fail to point out is that: 1. The unions allowed the employers to get away with murder – and looked on from the sidelines (i.e. no strikes or big campaings) while thousands of low paid union members accepted poor offers of settlement from their employers 2. The GMB union is not even involved in the important Glasgow GMF ‘defence’ hearing – where the council has to try and justify the big differences in pay between traditional male and female jobs 3. In many areas the uni

Glasgow - Compromise Agreement Challenge

As regular readers know - Stefan Cross Solicitors is challenging Glasgow City Council’s Compromise Agreement. In November and December 2005 council employees were required to sign a Compromise Agreement – before the council would release a compensatory payment in return for people ‘giving up’ their equal pay claims. Glasgow workers who took up their claim via Stefan Cross achieved a much better outcome – than those who accepted the council’s original offer of settlement. But Stefan Cross believes the Compromise Agreement can be challenged – as council employees did not receive proper advice about the nature or size of their equal pay claims – or their prospects of pursuing a successful claim to the Employment Tribunals. In addition, council employees were unaware (at the time) that Glasgow City Council were paying the fees of the legal firms attending the ‘acceptance’ meetings – and also that the council required these legal firms to restrict the scope of their advice to city counc

Freedom of Information

Here's the latest Freedom of Information (FOI) request to South Lanarkshire Council. The request revolves around a claim made by the council - that key building blocks of its job evaluation scheme (JES) were externally verified by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) - but the truth is that this independent scrutiny never took place. So, South Lanarkshire's job evaluation scheme has never been given a clean bill of health - by the EOC or anyone else. The other claim made in the newsletter was that the council's internal JES would be compared to the nationally approved JES - in an effort to reassure council staff (via the trade unions) that the workforce was not being sold a 'pig in a poke'. Since then precious little information has been made available to explain the workings of the South Lanarkshire JES - and how one group of jobs has been graded and paid - compared to another. Hence the reason for this latest FOI request - we will keep readers posted on

Male Workers' Claims

The recent breakthrough case male claimants at the Employment Appeal Tribunal – see post dated 25 June 2008 - has understandably generated a great deal of interest. Lots of readers have been in touch to say “Well done” to Action 4 Equality Scotland - and Stefan Cross Solicitors. Because when male members raised the issue with their trade unions – they were told to get lost - that they had no chance of success. But now the worm has turned – and the stance taken by Stefan Cross has been completely vindicated - by the recent landmark case of McAvoy v South Tyneside Borough Council at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The underlying issue was always about common sense and the right equal treatment under the law – about treating both men and women fairly – even though the majority of equal pay claimants in Scotland are female. The key point is that the groups of male workers - who never received bonus payments – always had an argument – so long as female council workers were successful i

Labour Peer's Expenses

The latest figure to get caught up in the Westminster expenses debacle is Labour peer and former Treasury minister – Robert Sheldon. According to the Sunday Times, Lord Sheldon claimed more than £130,000 in expenses from the House of Lords by designating a house in Manchester as his “main home”. A house he gave to his son six years ago - in 2003. Peers who live outside the capital can collect £174 a night tax-free as reimbursement for the cost of a hotel or maintaining a second home while attending parliament, according to the newspaper report. Lord Sheldon lives with his wife in London - but said his main residence was his former family home in Manchester - where he was previously an MP. The House of Lords expenses regime allowed Lord Sheldon to claim between £12,000 and £22,000 a year - even though he already had a mortgage-free home in London. The noble lord continued to claim the allowance after he gave the house to his son in April 2003 - and has since received payments to

Laughing Matters and Laughing Stocks

Union members across the country will be interested to learn about developments at the TUC (Trades Union Congress). While thousands of women are still fighting for their rights to equal pay - the TUC is preparing to debate - whether high heels should be banned from work. Oh to be part of that debate! To point out that the Equal Pay Act has been in force since 1970 - almost 40 years! To remind delegates that a landmark Single Status Agreement - promising equal pay and a new deal for women council workers in Scotland - was signed a decade ago in 1999. To ask an impertinent question or two: "Why has equal pay been such a low priority for the unions for so many years - especially after 12 years of a Labour government?" "Why do the trade unions prop up a system that pays refuse workers and gardeners - so much more than care workers and classroom assistants? After debating the real issues facing women at the workplace - and coming up with some honest answers ab

Happy Holidays

Lots of people will have been off on their holidays last month - a period that will go down in history for the amount of rain that fell in the west of Scotland . So, we'll be re-visiting and re-running some of the posts that were put up on the blog site in July - during the month of August as well. If any of these issues affect you or your friends - contact Action 4 Equality Scotland on 0845 300 3 800 or drop Mark Irvine a note at: markirvine@compuserve.com

Calling Glasgow

We are seeking information about Glasgow's WPBR (Workforce Pay and Benefits Review) - which introduced new pay and grading arrangements for all council workers. Readers in Glasgow may be able to help us - by avoiding the need to submit time consuming FOI (Freedom of Information) requests. Under Glasgow's WPBR - council employees receive additional payments for Working Context and Demands - but the current rates in use are not published or easily accessed - even though there's no good reason for this lack of openess and transparency. The old rates introduced in 2006 were Level 0 - No payment (pound to a penny most people in this category are women!) Level 1 - £ 480 a year Level 3 - £ 600 a year Level 4 - £ 756 a year Level 5 - £ 960 a year Level 5 - £1200 a year The information is available on the council intranet (which is not accessible to the general public) - but council employees are able to get hold of the details, so long as they have access to the

South Lanarkshire

A reader from South Lanarkshire has been in touch to say that a prankster is poking fun at the council - with a video on YouTube. The video highlights the handsome salaries paid to the council's most senior officials - and the story has even made Page 3 in a local newspaper, The Hamilton Advertiser. The irony is that chief officials enjoy high salaries of up to £148,802 a year - plus a final salary pension scheme - while so many council workers are still fighting for equal pay. The video can be viewed at the following web site address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E56GkLF37Q

More Equal Than Others

Edinburgh City Council has issued an briefing document to a bemused public - in an effort to explain the background to its long-running refuse collection dispute. The council helpfully explains that a basic refuse collector currently earns a basic salary of around £12,000 with an attendance 'bonus' of nearly £7,000. A refuse driver earns even more. The key word in that sentence is 'attendance' - because the extra £7,000 is what these traditional male jobs were paid - simply for turning up for work. The extra money had nothing to do with productivity or performance - as the employers used to argue. And, of course, all of the female dominated jobs (and some men) - were excluded from bonus payments altogether. But at least we should be grateful for small mercies. At least Edinburgh is no longer trying to maintain the fiction that its bonuses were justified - that the men earning bonuses were somehow working harder or more productively than women. As we all know

Say What You Mean!

New 'rules' enabling MPs to claim £25 a day in tax free expenses - without providing any receipts - were slipped out as honourable members left Parliament - for their mammoth 82 day summer recess (see post dated 28 July 2009). But up until very recently MPs seemed to understand that a 'double standard' over the need to produce receipts - was no longer acceptable - no more one law for us and another law for them. Here's what the main party spokespeople said at the height of the MPs' expenses scandal - when the issue was under fierce scrutiny: Harriet Harman - Labour's deputy leader said in the spring: “There would need to be receipts for all claims. I really do think that that is something sensible which we could decide for ourselves now.” Alan Duncan - the Tories spokesperson previously said: “The second home allowance was often just paid once a month without receipts, which is an unacceptable system in the modern age.” Nick Harvey - spoke for the

Awkward Questions

A reader has sent in a press cutting about equal pay in West Dunbartonshire Council. Apparently a recent council report revealed a huge pay gap in the pay for young apprentices undertaking different roles. A first year administration apprentice (i.e. a mainly female role) is paid only £6,533 a year – while construction apprentices (largely male) earns almost double at £11,385. At a full council meeting Councillor Gail Casey is reported as asking: “How do you justify the difference in wages between an admin apprentice and a construction apprentice?” Good question – though, so far, no one appears to have come up with an answer! Because this is what has been going on for years – blatant pay discrimination – across a wide range of council jobs. And right under the noses of the trade unions.

Feedback from Falkirk

A reader from Falkirk has been in touch to say that it wasn't just the men who were told to 'get lost' by their trade unions over equal pay - see post dated 2 August 2009. According to our reader when women workers in Falkirk were made their first offer of compensation - the unions told them: 'You're on your own - and that the union lawyers want nothing to do with it'. 'It's a good offer accept it' - was their advice Only after Action 4 Equality Scotland and Stefan Cross came along - did the unions come back on the scene - with their tails between their legs, apparently. Now this all rings very true - because the unions always kept the size of the pay gap hidden from their women members. And they're hardly pulling out all the stops for their women members now. Just look at their antics in Edinburgh - where Unison is seeking to delay members cases until late 2010. And in doing so - of course - they're lining up alongside the emp

Pay Gap Widens

The Government has been accused of a lack of action over equal pay – by its own Women and Work Commission. The commission was set up in 2004 by Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister. In its latest report, the group says that the pay gap between men and women is widening – not narrowing. ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ – was Labour’s catchy jingle in the 1997 general election campaign But when it comes to equal pay – things have actually got worse. The commission puts the gender pay gap at 22.6% in 2008 - which it said was worse than in 2007 when women were paid 21.9% less per hour than men. The commission, whose members are drawn from employers and unions, said job segregation was still the norm. Women continue to dominate in caring, cashiering, clerical, cleaning and catering jobs – where pay rates are much lower. Now as a statement of the bleedin’ obvious – that takes the biscuit. Because that was also the case 10 years ago - when the employers and the unions promised a better

All Spin - No Substance

Here’s the text of a GMB notice sent in by one of our regular readers: Equal Pay – Male Workers A recent employment tribunal decision means that men in predominantly male worker groups, who the council did not include in the scope of Equal Pay awards .........have the same right to equal pay as women. If you believe you may have a claim contact GMB........ What’s remarkable about this notice – apart from being badly written and good for a laugh – is that: 1. Stefan Cross Solicitors fought and won the tribunal case referred to in the notice – the GMB was not even involved 2. Previously the unions told non-bonus earning men to ‘get lost’ - that they had no claims for equal pay 3. Now they’re trying to jump on the bandwagon – but as usual they’re at the coo’s tail – following not leading the fight The lesson to be learned is that the unions have no shame – they will say just about anything rather than admit the truth – which is that they failed to stand up for equal pay when it r

Compare and Contrast

If you've ever wondered about double standards inside trade unions - just compare and contrast what's going on in the refuse collection service. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are facing industrial action - with rubbish piling up on the street - to defend the earnings of traditional male jobs. Jobs which for years have been paid 50% or 60% more than many women's jobs - despite being on lower grades. So, a refuse worker has for the last 10 years been earning £9 to £10 an hour - while most women's jobs have been stuck on £6.00 or less. But have the unions haven't been kicking up a stink about what the women get paid? Of course not - because they've been far too busy keeping women members in the dark about the size of the pay gap - when, in fact, the unions have negotiated the hidden bonuses and better rates of pay for these traditional male jobs. The end result is that Home Carers, Classroom Assistants, Catering and Clerical workers - all doing highly respo