I met up with my two local SNP councillors the other day to discuss the situation in Glasgow regarding the fight for equal pay.
I hadn't had any dealings Jennifer or Greg before, in person at least, so it was good to get a feel as to where people were coming from - vice versa as well, in all likelihood.
So I think it is fair to say that both councillors are clearly committed to the notion of 'equal pay for work of equal value' and they are fully behind the decision to achieve a negotiated settlement to the City Council's outstanding equal pay claims.
Which is good news, as far as it goes.
On the downside I would say that 'backbench' councillors, if Greg and Jennifer are typical, don't see themselves as having much of an oversight role in the settlement process which has, of course, been proceeding at a snail's pace up until now.
I find that surprising, I have to say, because one of the main reasons that the City Council is in such a mess in 2018 is that back in 2005, 2006 and 2007 senior officials wee given a completely free rein to do what they liked over Glasgow's pay arrangements - which landed the workforce with the 'unfit for purpose' WPBR.
Whatever checks and balances were put in place, if any, these safeguards patently did not work which explains why the WPBR ended up with its ludicrous 37 hour 'rule' for example.
The reality is that no one stood up and spoke up against this completely invented 'rule' which was deliberately designed (whatever anyone says) to disadvantage Glasgow City Council's largely female workforce.
So if you ask me it's vital that all councillors, including backbench councillors, are up to speed with what's going on as the situation unfolds and that is surely what the council workforce is entitled to as well.
To be fair Jennifer and Greg seemed keen that the claimant organisations (A4ES, GMB and Unison) should be having a ongoing dialogue with the council's political leaders and in the case of the SNP the leading figures are Susan Aitken and Feargal Dalton.
I've never met Feargal Dalton, but apparently he holds the position of 'Workforce Convener' so who knows, maybe an early meeting with A4ES, GMB and Unison might be a useful exercise.
In any event, the next round of settlement discussions on 17 April 2018 is likely to prove crucial one way or the other - because up until now it's been 'all talk and no action' and most of the talk has just being going round in circles.
Let's hope things take a turn for the better after the Easter break.
Jennifer Layden (SNP)
Greg Hepburn (SNP)
Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (26/03/18)
I met with one of my local councillors the other day - Cllr Robert Connelly who is one of four local councillors in my ward of Glasgow Calton.
Now Cllr Connelly was much younger than I expected (or more likely I'm just getting older), but he was perfectly friendly and keen to listen to what I had to say about the long fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council.
Most of Glasgow's Conservative councillors (including Robert) were elected for the first time in 2017 and are not 'steeped in' the history of equal pay, so we discussed:
I encouraged Robert and his councillor colleagues to focus on the role of Glasgow's senior officials and the 'governance issues' surrounding the introduction of the WPBR.In my view this is a really big story, a scandal no less, which is still waiting to be told over the procurement of the WPBR, the costs of the scheme and the 'design' instructions from Glasgow's senior officials.
Senior council officials in Glasgow are desperate to keep the truth of what happened under wraps whereas elected councillors should be demanding answers for the good name of the city and in the interests of council taxpayers.
Cllr Robert Connelly