Saturday, 19 January 2019

Keep Right On!



I don't know if Stefan Cross is familiar with this famous song by Sir Harry Lauder, but now that he's an honorary Glaswegian we might just have to adopt it as the theme tune for Action 4 Equality Scotland. 

Keep Right on to the End of the Road
Ev'ry road thro' life is a long, long road,
Fill'd with joys and sorrows too,
As you journey on how your heart will yearn
For the things most dear to you.
With wealth and love 'tis so,
But onward we must go.

Keep right on to the end of the road,
Keep right on to the end,
Tho' the way be long, let your heart be strong,
Keep right on round the bend.
Tho' you're tired and weary still journey on,
Till you come to your happy abode,
Where all the love you've been dreaming of
Will be there at the end of the road.

With a big stout heart to a long steep hill,
We may get there with a smile,
With a good kind thought and an end in view,
We may cut short many a mile.
So let courage ev'ry day
Be your guiding star alway.

Keep right on to the end of the road,
Keep right on to the end,
Tho' the way be long, let your heart be strong,
Keep right on round the bend.
Tho' you're tired and weary still journey on,
Till you come to your happy abode,
Where all the love you've been dreaming of
Will be there at the end of the road.

  


Equal pay lawyer: ‘We’re drawing a line under history, but there’s still a problem’

By Margaret Taylor @MagsTaylorHT - The Herald

Stefan Cross. Picture: Sean Elliott Photography

LAWYER Stefan Cross knew he was going to have a long fight on his hands back in 2005 when, just as had happened in Birmingham three months previously, GlasgowCity Council got together with its employees’ trade unions in a bid to see off the equal pay claims he had just filed on their behalf.

Having paid out £25 million in hurriedly agreed settlements, the council had hoped the issue would go away, but when a new pay scheme implemented in 2007 only served to exacerbate past inequalities the case got bigger and Mr Cross has fought on the women’s behalf ever since.

READ MORE: Equal pay agreement is just the beginning of the end for Glasgow

As was the case in Birmingham - which eventually settled for over £1 billion in 2012 and 2013 - Glasgow City Council chose to fight its workers through the courts, with the matter going all the way to the Court of Session before being halted by council leader Susan Aitken in favour of negotiation at the beginning of last year.

With a £500m settlement now agreed, many believe the dispute would never have got to this point without Mr Cross, who represents the bulk of the 14,000 claimants. He, however, has a different take.

“The significant thing about Glasgow is that after the Employment Appeal Tribunal decision the women formed a Facebook group - that has been transformative,” he said. “That absolutely, totally changed the landscape of how we were able to interact and their direct involvement in the case.

“In a lot of other areas the women would be instrumental in getting it all kicked off but then it passed to us to get on with it. That was the situation here for the first 10 years but then in the last two to three years they have been driving the wagon. That’s been the best thing about it.”

READ MORE: Glasgow City Council confirms £500m equal-pay settlement

Though he said the women he represents are “massively elated” that an agreement has finally been reached, Mr Cross noted that there is still some way to go before their shares of the £500m can be safely banked.

And, while the settlement brings an end to one part of a hard-fought campaign for the Glasgow women, Mr Cross stressed that there is more to come, with the huge question of how their jobs - and those of their male equivalents - should be valued and remunerated still to be answered.

As Mr Cross said: “We’re drawing a line under the history but there’s still a problem in the present.”