Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Glasgow - Equal Pay Update



Stefan Cross shared some thoughts on Facebook about the behaviour of senior officials in Glasgow City Council in relation to equal pay.


Mark puts the spotlight on the OFFICERS. 

It was them that came up with the cockamamie WPBR scheme, spent 10years and £2.5m defending it and won’t let it go.


 It is them that are turning “negotiations” into an exercise in wading through treacle, and it’s them that want to impose peanut size interim payments. 


They are led by Ann-Marie O’Donnell and Carole Forrest. 


I have no faith they wish to negotiate anything at the moment.


Lots of readers felt sufficiently inspired to respond with their own comments and here's a selection of what people had to say.

Robbers

C


That’s not good news



Time for action x

R


I TOTALLY AGREE STRIKE ACTION IS NEEDED X

A


Time to kick some ass if it was us that owed them money for this long we would have been in court by now and wages arrested

R


Strike

L

I was threatened woth court action because “they overpaid me” for a year. I was threatened within a few weeks of it being ‘noticed’

N

Tut tut think some arses need kicked into reality 😡😡😡

I


Their must be a time limit on this Stefan. It's been past by the courts something should be done.

J


They have been told it is not fit for purpose by the judges stop defending it and negotiate with Stefan a new pay structure that is fair and pay out what is due to the workforce.I am retired now and would like my money before l die so l can

E


Me too Eleanor

C

Let's hope Stefan can get us what we are due soon

E

Time to strike but u will get those that won't but will put there hand out for the money

R

I know none of us can afford to strike but, for some of our courses workers it's a matter of feed my hungry child and put a fiver on my energy card or strike.

L

Give them our wages for a change frecking robbing......

They’re not giving a fck .. I’m sure a strike would be the boot up there arses that’s needed !

M

Strike asap

L

Need to strike

M


Not in a union but willing to lose money to strike

K

STRIKE !

L

I don’t know any other work force who have put up with all this nonsense so long and never had to strike.. We are being took for fools .. and we know it !

I

Jeezo...they are like a dog with a bone..let it go FFS 😠

A

shocking ppl

P

Time we took some action how can they get away with this especially when it’s been past by the courts I think an all out strike is needed x

C

Bloody hell that £2.5m would have been better spent on us, by oh I don't know maybe PAYING US WHAT WE ARE BLOODY Due. I can't afford to do it but still an all out strike is looking more likely. Thanks as usual for fighting for us.

L


Thanks for the update, we will all be dead by the time they sort this out, someone is probably due to retire so if they can drag it out until then it will be someone else taking over so we will be back to square one with new face same sh###.

S

defo time for strike I’m phoning union tomorrow time to ballot x

L


Yup 100% behind u all the way xx

I

Strike

A

They DO NOT give a damn about us and that's about it. The longer they keep us waiting the more interest they get on our money. The Only Way is Strike Action. See if that will make a difference to their messing about with our Representatives at the meet

They wont most of us to die so they will carry on for years 😢😢

S

2 faced woman, on the front page of the Insider promoting International Women's day and double crossing us.

S

Let's strike !! Meeting Thursday night 6pm bell st unison Glasgow city branch

I

I had no idea that the officers were female which in my mind makes this shambles even WORSE
Disgrace to women.
She needs to go along with the rest of the clowns x

S

I agree ladies our story should be told to the media just like this maybe then we will get something done after all we have been patient long enough it’s time we call the shots

Can the tribunal not set a time line on gcc to finalize this mess. And payout what is owed

L


No. What you are ‘owed’ has not been determined

Stefan

What are your thoughts on strike action?

M


Women basically conning women here 😡 hope they get their just desserts one day.

A

aye but the elite so called woman will be gettingvastilly inflated pay and they will want to keep it that way big bonuses for shrifting us

T

Bloody despicable they should just pay up. The "officers" have been paid hugely inflated salaries to shaft their fellow female workers. They should hang their heads in shame. Age old story rich getting richer, poor getting screwed into the ground

L

First minister I think it's time you stepped in here, before Glasgow city comes to a halt.

J

Sturgeon is to busy pushing for independance to bother with equal pay

P

the truth is they really dont know what to do they are really at a loss well take advice from other councils who have paid out before having to pay out any more substantial amounts this will only cause more damage to glasgow council the llonger you wait game it out

T

After all is settled I will be looking for their resignation letters!!!!!!

A

No way should they still have a payed position in our council after this scandal!!!!!

L

How ironic that two women officials should become such major obstacles in the fight for equal in Scotland's largest council.

If you ask me it's the mentality is the same as 'pulling up the drawbridge', once you've safely secured your own position.

I think the following post sums things up rather well, especially in light of Annemarie O'Donnell's comment that senior officials acted in 'good faith' over the WPBR.

"I had no idea that the officers were female which in my mind makes this shambles even "WORSE
"Disgrace to women.
"She needs to go along with the rest of the clowns x"

Fair comment, I would say.   

  


Glasgow, Chief Execs and Cockatoos(08/04/180



Glasgow's chief executive, Annemarie O'Donnell, has been 'parroting' the same old nonsense for weeks about the City Council's discredited WPBR pay arrangements, making the laughable claim that:

"acting in good faith, officers and the council sought to put in place arrangements which they believed removed discrimination from the council’s pay arrangements."

Now this is nonsense on stilts, if you ask me.

Because no one can argue, while keeping a straight face at least, that the WPBR's cockamamy '37 hour rule' was not deliberately designed to 'disadvantage' the City Council's largely female workforce, the vast majority of whom are (surprise, surprise) contracted to work for less than 37 hours a week.

It's as plain as the nose on your face and as Judge Judy would say:

"If it doesn't make sense, it's not true." 

In my view, it is simply ridiculous that Scotland highest paid local government official should be defending this indefensible nonsense (see post below dated 22 March 2018).

In fact, it's about as crazy as this Cockatoo getting all shook up to Elvis Presley and 'Don't Be Cruel' - though not quite as funny, I have to admit.

So I hereby challenge Annemarie to a public debate where she can defend her claim that the WPBR was put in place 'in good faith' - because it's high time the City Council's senior officials were put on the spot to explain their actions.   

  


Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (22/03/18)


Here's the letter I mentioned on the blog yesterday from Glasgow City Council's chief executive Annemarie O'Donnell.

Now I am quite astonished, I have too say, that such a poor letter can be written by the highest paid local government official in the whole of Scotland (more on this issue to follow soon).

So I have pasted a copy of the original letter on the blog, first of all, followed by a second version into which I have inserted my own comments in bold (setting the record straight) where Annemarie O'Donnell is putting forward a point of view that needs to be challenged.

Dear XXXX,

EQUAL PAY FOR GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL WORKERS 

Thank you for writing to me about the current Equal Pay negotiations and specifically the future of the current WPBR pay and grading scheme.

I’m afraid that I cannot agree with you that there is a lack of progress being made. These are extremely complex discussions and it was the claimants’ representatives who took the view that a year would be required to resolve issues. This was based on their experience of similar negotiations with other councils in Scotland and across the UK. Senior officers are meeting the claimants’ representatives every fortnight and progress is being made. In particular the council is developing an approach to the processing of payments for pay protection. 


Turning to your view that the WPBR requires to be replaced with the Red Book Scheme, I can advise you that the meeting of officers and claimant representatives, last week, agreed to set up a separate work stream to review the current scheme and take whatever action is necessary, based on that review. The working group is composed of council officers but also representatives of the trade unions whose members would be affected by any new or substantially revised pay and grading scheme, together with a representative of A4E (Action for Equality).

I believe that we must give the working group the space to do their work and then consider their recommendations when these are presented. 

In terms of your request that the council should offer an apology, that implies that senior officers and the council at the time consciously set out to discriminate against female workers. I simply do not accept that. Instead I believe that acting in good faith, officers and the council sought to put in place arrangements which they believed removed discrimination from the council’s pay arrangements. If through the ongoing discussion and analysis that benefit is found to be erroneous the council is fully prepared to take steps to rectify this. 


Yours sincerely, 

ANNEMARIE O’DONNELL CHIEF EXECUTIVE 

cc Robert Anderson, Executive HR Manager


Chief Executive 
Annemarie O’Donnell LLB DipLP 


Chief Executive’s Office
Glasgow City Council
City Chambers
George Square
Glasgow G2 1DU
Email: annemarie.odonnell@glasgow.gov.uk  


Dear Xxxxxx,

EQUAL PAY FOR GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL WORKERS 

Thank you for writing to me about the current Equal Pay negotiations and specifically the future of the current WPBR pay and grading scheme.

I’m afraid that I cannot agree with you that there is a lack of progress being made. These are extremely complex discussions and it was the claimants’ representatives who took the view that a year would be required to resolve issues. This was based on their experience of similar negotiations with other councils in Scotland and across the UK. Senior officers are meeting the claimants’ representatives every fortnight and progress is being made. In particular the council is developing an approach to the processing of payments for pay protection. 


1) According to the latest update posted by Stefan Cross "no real negotiations yet. We've not even received a considered response to our protection period figures which we presented to the council in January."

2) The claimants' representatives have never suggested that settlement negotiations will take a year - a point which has been made repeatedly to councillors and council officials

3) GCC officials have previously threatened to 'impose' a payment for the protection period which the claimants' representatives have warned the council against - a piecemeal settlement is simply not acceptable after all this time. 
   
Turning to your view that the WPBR requires to be replaced with the Red Book Scheme, I can advise you that the meeting of officers and claimant representatives, last week, agreed to set up a separate work stream to review the current scheme and take whatever action is necessary, based on that review. The working group is composed of council officers but also representatives of the trade unions whose members would be affected by any new or substantially revised pay and grading scheme, together with a representative of A4E (Action for Equality).


4) GCC officials insisted on removing the words 'replace the WPBR' from the Terms of Reference of the Working Group. 

5) In reality the senior council officials who have been defending the WPBR for years are trying desperately to retain the scheme or elements of the scheme - despite the WPBR being condemned as 'unfit for purpose' by the Court of Session, the highest civil court in Scotland.  

I believe that we must give the working group the space to do their work and then consider their recommendations when these are presented. 


6) Significantly, no clear timescale is given for the working group to complete its task or present its recommendations.

In terms of your request that the council should offer an apology, that implies that senior officers and the council at the time consciously set out to discriminate against female workers. I simply do not accept that. Instead I believe that acting in good faith, officers and the council sought to put in place arrangements which they believed removed discrimination from the council’s pay arrangements. If through the ongoing discussion and analysis that benefit is found to be erroneous the council is fully prepared to take steps to rectify this. 


7) The WPBR has been deliberately designed to favour traditional male jobs - hence the blatantly discriminatory 37 hour 'rule' which treats women workers as second class citizens and punishes the council's largely female workforce. 

8) The cockamamy 'rules' of the WPBR were drawn up by an external consultant working in association with and under the direction of senior council officials who now say they cannot find the WPBR's original Terms of Reference. 

9) How could any knowledgeable person (never mind the highest paid council official in Scotland) believe that the introduction of a 37 hour 'rule' under the WPBR was intended to 'remove discrimination from the council's pay arrangements' in 2007?

10) The Court of Session's 'unfit for purpose' decision speaks volumes about the poor judgment of the senior officials in Glasgow who introduced the WPBR pay scheme and who fought tooth and nail to defend its operation for 10 long years. 


Yours sincerely, 

ANNEMARIE O’DONNELL CHIEF EXECUTIVE 

cc Robert Anderson, Executive HR Manager 


  


Glasgow, Leadership and Equal Pay



Here's a great letter from a regular reader of the blog who has drawn my attention to what looks like a terrible double standard when it comes to Scottish Ministers and the fight for equal pay in Scotland's largest council.

Hi Mark,

Hope you are keeping well.

I see that health minister Shona Robison has called for the Tayside health boss to quit over financial problems.

How come these politicians say they can't get involved in an even bigger scandal - the public sector equal pay scandal?

There's an awful lot of senior officials across the country - especially in Glasgow -who should be brought to book.

A severe case of double standards here.

Keep sockin' it to em!!

Regards,


D

Now as regular readers know, Scottish Ministers tell equal pay claimants who write to them directly that Scotland's council's are independent bodies - blah, blah, blah - and that the Scottish Government can't tell them what to do.


Well, we all know that and have done for years - thank you very much.

But this didn't stop the Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison from embarrassing the hell out of the Chairperson and Chief Executive of Tayside Health Board by calling for them to resign after making a terrible mess of things.

No doubt the fact that the Tayside debacle involved Shona Robison's own constituency provided some added incentive for her to act and 'call a spade a spade'.

To their credit the health officials got the message, accepted responsibility for the woeful performance of their organisation and agreed to move on to make way for new leadership.

So tell me what the difference is between Tayside Health Board and Glasgow City Council where the most senior officials, including the chief executive Annemarie O'Donnell and Director of Governance Carole Forrest, have made a complete dog's dinner over equal pay while trampling over people's employment rights for years?

Yet these two very highly paid officials remain in post even though Scotland's highest civil court, the Court of Session, has condemned Glasgow's pay arrangements as 'unfit for purpose'.

To add insult to injury Glasgow's chief executive recently claimed that the council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR pay scheme was put in place to remove pay discrimination - even though the WPBR introduced a blatantly discriminatory 37 hour 'rule' which effectively treats the council's women workers as second class citizens.

If you ask me, Glasgow's politicians should take a leaf out of the Health Secretary's book by calling for the senior officials in the City Council to go - and make way for new leadership which can regain the trust of the workforce.  

So let's see if Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon begins to take a keener, more direct  interest in what's been going on in her own back yard, because Glasgow's handling of equal pay and the City Council's treatment of its largely female is a national scandal.  

Read the reports on Tayside below from The Herald, The Sunday Post and BBC Scotland.

 



NHS Tayside chief executive Lesley McLay sacked in wake of charity cash spending row as Malcolm Wright appointed as replacement

By Helen McArdle @HMcardleHT - The Herald


Lesley McLay

NHS Tayside chief executive Lesley McLay has been forced out in wake of scandal over charity cash spent on IT systems.

The Scottish Government confirmed that Malcolm Wright, the chief executive of NHS Grampian, had been appointed as acting chief executive in her place.

John Brown, who is currently chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, will take on the role of interim chairman of NHS Tayside until a permanent chair can be appointed. It follows the resignation of Professor John Connell. 



Health Secretary Shona Robison urges NHS Tayside bosses to resign after donation spending

The Sunday Post


The Health Secretary is to exercise ‘ministerial powers of intervention’ and move NHS Tayside to the highest level of escalation (Andrew Milligan/PA)

HEALTH SECRETARY Shona Robison has called for NHS Tayside bosses to step down after it emerged the health board used donations to fund new technology.

Ms Robison told The Courier she had written to chairman John Connell urging him to resign and described chief executive Lesley McLay’s position as “untenable”.

The Scottish Government is exercising “ministerial powers of intervention” and moving NHS Tayside to the highest level of escalation.

Speaking to the newspaper, Ms Robison said: “I have written to John Connell to ask him to step down.

“We need fresh leadership. I would hope he would consider his position.

“I also think Lesley McLay’s position is really untenable.

“She will need to consider her position. The best course of action will be for her to step down.

“She is, however, an employee of NHS Tayside. I recognise and respect that.”

The health board, which was bailed out with a Scottish Government loan of £33.2 million in 2016/17, was claimed to have used the endowment fund when “faced with a funding deficit” in 2013/14.



Chairman quits crisis-hit NHS Tayside 


Image copyright - NHS TAYSIDE Image caption -Prof John Connell has stood down

The chairman of NHS Tayside has stood down after the health board was put in "special measures" by the government.

Health Secretary Shona Robison welcomed the resignation of Prof John Connell, describing it as the "right decision".

She said her intervention was necessary because she was not confident the leadership was capable of managing its own finances.

This came after several years of financial problems during which it is was bailed out by the government.

'Laid bare'

A further financial concern emerged earlier this week when it was claimed NHS Tayside took more than £2m from its charitable endowment fund to cover general running costs, including a new IT system.

The health board, which has received Scottish government "brokerage" loans of £33.2m in the past five years, was reported to have used the endowment fund when "faced with a funding deficit" in 2013-14.

Row over health board charity fund use

NHS Tayside was said to have temporarily suspended its constitution to allow this to happen, as the money was going to "retrospectively" fund projects already approved by the board.

Politicians said there was an "apparent misuse" of funds but the health board insisted it was "appropriate".

Last week, the Scottish government was told NHS Tayside's finances were likely to deteriorate further.

I have always maintained a focus on safe patient care and ensuring staff are supported to deliver that at all timesProf John Connell

NHS chief executive Paul Gray told MSPs he expected NHS Tayside would require further brokerage cash from the government of between £9m and £12m.

The health secretary said: "It has become clear to me that the current structure of the board cannot deliver the improvements required to return to a sustainable position, while continuing to deliver safe and effective services to patients."

Ms Robison also described the position of NHS Tayside's chief executive, Lesley McLay, as "untenable".

Prof Connell has previously said that the board at NHS Tayside inherited a difficult situation and that he had only taken up his role two and a half years ago.

Image caption - The health secretary said she was concerned about the running of NHS Tayside

In a statement about his resignation, Prof Connell said it had been "an absolute privilege" to lead the health board.

He said: "I have always maintained a focus on safe patient care and ensuring staff are supported to deliver that at all times.

"I am very pleased that this has not been compromised during a difficult financial period."

Prof Connell said NHS Tayside was "on the correct course to transform its services".

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs said ministers had presided over a situation where financial scrutiny of NHS boards had been "at best insufficient and at worse incompetent".

Scottish Labour's Anas Sarwar said there had been a "complete lack of leadership and mismanagement of our NHS by the SNP minister" for a number of years.

The Lib Dems said there was "no shortage of warnings" about NHS Tayside's problems.