Thursday, 5 October 2017

Glasgow and Equal Pay

Senior officials in Glasgow City Council claim to have little, if any, working knowledge of the Council's EDC pay scheme which guaranteed to 'look after' the higher pay of traditional bonus earning male jobs: Gardeners, Refuse Workers, Gravediggers and so on. 

But here's another official GCC document that's come my way and which shows that a highly organised effort was put in place across council departments to deliver the Employee Development Commitment (EDC) and to 'look after' the interests of the all male bonus earning groups.

Can it possibly be that Glasgow council officials are being 'economical' with the truth?


The Employee Development Commitment (EDC) was introduced by the Council as the process to assist employees to identify the options available to them to resolve any potential detriment arising from WPBR.  The timescale for resolution is April 2009.  The main options are:
  • Service Reform 
  • Individual Development Plan 
  • Other (changes to working hours, additional payments, retirement, voluntary redundancy).
Employees in protected status were offered a meeting with their designed EDC Manager to discuss options.  If an individual development plan was the most suitable option for the employee, the Council's Corporate PDP process was used to progress this.  Where an employee's situation was unlikely to be resolved by a development plan alone, it might be considered in conjunction with a Service Reform proposal.
Service Reform
The process of Service Reform is designed to deliver more effective and efficient services.  However, as it involves changes to our service structure, it can create opportunities for employees in detriment and will continue to be a key factor in reducing the numbers in protected status.
There are currently Service Reform proposals within all Services across the Council.  Each Service has a programme of reform proposals to April 2008, which identifies the number of employees affected by development and reform.  Following this, Services will identify further proposals to be addressed by October 2008 and then by April 2009.
Services have identified to the EDC Officer Group that reform proposals may also involve development options for employees, and these would be progressed through the Council's PDP process.
For more information regarding the EDC process, please contact Glenda McKendrick on 287 3540.

Employee Development Commitment - Internal Career Coaches

Chief Executive Culture & Sport Glasgow DACS DRS Education EPS Fin Serv Land Social Work
Glenda McKendrick Sandy Marshall Wendy Stewart None Nicola Kernachan None None Peter Innes Michell Skirvington

Margaret Rizza Stella Bartram

Cher Traquair

Tommy Robertson Sarah Agnew

Georgie Lanaghan Marrianne Elliot

Moira Wilson

Karen Peer John McGarry

Nicki Smith Lorna Carter

Jim McLaughlin

Services with no internal coach, please contact Careers Scotland

Careers Scotland Advisers

House 7, Elmbank St 

Tony McGlynn Tel 287 8340

Norma Oliphant Tel 287 8338

Louise Hobday Tel 287 8822

The Careers Scotland Advisers can be e-mailed via Outlook.

The Fight for Equal Pay in Glasgow (14/09/17)

I've have written to the Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, following the decision to seek leave to appeal the Court of Session's damning judgment on the Council's WPBR pay scheme.

A number of readers have asked for Cllr Aitken's email address which is freely available via the Council's web site, but here it is for easy reference:

Dear Councillor Aitken

Glasgow and Equal Pay

I was very disappointed to learn of Glasgow City Council's decision to seek leave to appeal the judgment of the Court of Session regarding the council's WPBR pay scheme.

In my view, any fair assessment of the WPBR can only come to the conclusion that the Council's WPBR pay arrangements have been cynically manipulated for the benefit of male dominated former bonus earning jobs, which is why three judges in Scotland's highest civil court decided unanimously that the WPBR is 'not fit for purpose'.

The Council's senior officials have been dissembling and stonewalling for months over the provision of information relating to the WPBR and Employee Development Commitment (EDC) scheme, for example, which looked after the interests of the former bonus earners while leaving the women's jobs stuck firmly at the bottom of the Council's pay ladder.

As I have explained on my blog site recently we have now reached a truly farcical state of affairs where the Council's senior officials (who are all paid handsome salaries) claim to have little or no knowledge about the treatment of hundreds of male Gardeners and Gravediggers whose earnings were preserved for the long term, according to the Council's own documents, while women in comparable jobs (e.g. Home Carers) were left trailing far behind.

My FoI requests have been outstanding for months and the latest response from officials suggests that this routine financial information no longer exists.

But the burden of proof is on the City Council and if senior officials cannot provide the relevant documents, then they cannot justify the pay differential or the difference in treatment between the men and the women. If the relevant documents have mysteriously disappeared, no doubt the City Council will confirm this to be the case and will not seek to defend the EDC scheme.

A4ES will now vigorously oppose Glasgow's efforts to seek leave to appeal and for the benefit of the readers of my blog, can I confirm that there have been no serious attempts at settlement discussions up until now and nor can there be until the City Council finally comes clean over how the men were treated in comparison to the women.

Kind regards

Mark Irvine

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Irvine
To: susan.aitken
Sent: Thu, Sep 7, 2017 11:08 am
Subject: Glasgow's Pay Arrangements

Dear Councillor Aitken

Glasgow's Secret Pay Arrangements

I enclose for your information a copy of the City Council's response to my latest FoI request regarding the operation of the Employee Development Commitment (EDC) scheme which, as you know, guaranteed the future earnings of former bonus earning jobs.

I plan to appeal this decision by submitting an FOI Review in due course, but I have to say that the present administration seems no different at this stage to the last Labour administration, as far as 'coming clean' over Glasgow's WPBR pay scheme is concerned.

So while I will use the FOISA process to challenge this unhelpful, obstructive behaviour, I also plan to step up my campaigning activities on equal pay because it seems to me that the City Council's senior officials are not interested in operating 'open, honest and transparent' pay arrangements.

As you know, I believe the provision of this information is the key to resolving Glasgow's outstanding equal pay issues. As Lady Dorian said at the Court of Session hearing the council clearly “looked after” the men well beyond the protection period, which means it is crucial to know precisely how they were helped and what affect this had on their pay. The view of A4ES is that the women were entitled to the same help as the men. What happened to the men is the baseline for future settlement discussions.

I understood the SNP Group to be committed to a new approach to resolving the outstanding equal pay issues in Glasgow, but whatever is happening behind the scenes, I have to tell you this is not having a noticeable effect on the behaviour of the Council's senior officials.

If senior officials in Scotland's largest council can't or won't get their act together, maybe the solution in Glasgow is to bring in the Accounts Commission to uncover what has really been going on for the past 10 years.

Kind regards

Mark Irvine

-----Original Message-----

From: FOI_CCT <>

To: '' <>

Sent: Wed, Sep 6, 2017 2:53 pm

Subject: Request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 No 6268140
Dear Mr Irvine

Thank you for your email received on 9 August 2017 requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please find attached your response.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
Chief Executive’s Department

The Fight for Equal Pay in Glasgow (14/09/17)

The Evening Times reports that Glasgow City Council is to ask for permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court to challenge a decision from Scotland's highest civil court, the Court of Session, that its WPBR pay scheme is 'unfit for purpose'.

Now this is a very strange move from an SNP-led council which has promised to settle all outstanding equal pay claims during this council term, given that serious settlement discussions have not even got off the ground.

So the A4ES legal team will vigorously oppose the City Council's attempts to get leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court because the scandal of massive pay inequality has existed in Glasgow for far too long - 10 years and counting.

If you ask me, the unanimous judgement of Scotland's highest civil court ought to be enough for the City Council's senior officials to admit the terrible mess they've made - before starting to put things right after all this time.

The Evening Times reports that the trade unions are beginning to take these issues more seriously which is good to see, but the truth of the matter is that the local unions agreed to the introduction of the WPBR back in 2006/07 - and also agreed to a 'cap' of just £9,000 on the financial compensation available to low paid council employees.

The GMB, in particular, looks foolish because while the union is now trying to make a lot of noise regular readers will recall that the GMB did not support the A4ES-led challenge to the WPBR pay scheme in the Court of Session.

More details to follow.


Glasgow City Council ask for permission to appeal court ruling granting female employees equal pay

By Victoria Brenan - The Evening Times

GLASGOW city council is asking for permission to appeal a court ruling granting female employees equal pay.

Trade unions are planning to protest outside the City Chambers following the move by the council.

It comes after a long-running court battle for equal pay at The Court of Session last month decided that the council's regrading system introduced in 2007 may have been unfair towards women.

In the SNP's election manifesto, they promised to resolve equal pay, stating: " The SNP will settle all outstanding equal pay claims this Council term."

Trade unions have hit out at the latest move, which the council says is not an attempt to appeal the decision, but simply a procedural move.

A spokeswoman from GMB, which had submitted 1800 claims on behalf of their members, said the council has made "absolutely no attempt" to negotiate with them so far and described their latest legal move as "a betrayal".

The spokeswoman said:" This could have been a chance for the new administration to right the wrongs from before, as included in their manifesto.

"However they have made no attempt to negotiate with us and resolve any of the 1800 claims we have made so far."

Unison members are to stage a protest outside the city chambers during the full council meeting at 1pm.

A spokesman said: “We would like to be able to negotiate an agreement to these claims and we have already begun meeting Trade Unions. We will be having further meetings in the coming weeks.

"Seeking leave to appeal does not undermine our commitment to these negotiations.

"However this is a complex judgement and negotiations will be complex too.

"There is a very tight timescale in which you must seek leave to appeal and that runs out this week."