Friday, 18 January 2019

People Power Triumphs in Glasgow!

I've got to say this post from the blog site archive held up rather well - exactly a year to the day Glasgow City Council finally came to its senses, albeit after a long hard fight.

  


People Power Triumphs in Glasgow (17/01/18)



Here is a press statement that has just been released by Action 4 Equality Scotland, following the marvellous news that Glasgow City Council has finally accepted that its WPBR pay arrangements are 'unfit for purpose'.

Now there are lots of things to say and too many people to thank in just one blog post, but for the moment I would just like to take my hat off to all the many people who put their trust in A4ES down the years to get the job done in Glasgow.

It's been a long, hard, costly fight and there have been lots of bumps in the road along the way, but we got there in the end and as the old saying goes"

"Actions speaks louder than words!"

There is still more work to do, of course, and tough negotiations will follow although A4ES is now working with the local trade unions which is a big step forward compared to years gone by.

So watch this space - there will be much more to follow in the days and weeks ahead.  

  


People power triumphs in Glasgow!

After a 10-year-long fight Action 4 Equality Scotland has won its battle over equal pay as Glasgow City Council today finally accepted a ruling from Scotland's highest civil court, the Court of Session, that the council's current pay arrangements are 'unfit for purpose'.

This is a huge breakthrough for thousands of A4ES clients in Glasgow whose equal pay claims will now have to be settled along with claims raised by the trade unions 

New pay arrangements and a new job evaluation scheme (JES) will also need to be agreed to replace the now discredited WPBR pay scheme, in detailed negations with A4ES and the trade unions that will follow in the months ahead

A4ES represents the majority off equal pay claimants in Glasgow - over 8,000 (or 80%) of the current number of cases registered with the Employment Tribunals.

Stefan Cross QC, of Action 4 Equality (Scotland), said: 

”Ten years ago Glasgow council bosses told us this day would never come, but the Court of Session judgment shows that A4ES was right all along.

“So this is really is marvellous news.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign to persuade the Council to accept the Court of Session’s ruling - they have all done a really fantastic job of getting our message across to Glasgow councillors, MSPs and MPs with their emails, Facebook post and Tweets.   

“We have been saying for years now that the City Council could not justify paying highly skilled, hard working staff like Home Carers so much less than gardeners, gravediggers and refuse workers.

“Today the City Council finally saw sense and accepted that this long, protracted and very costly legal battle is now at an end.

“We still have lots of work to do before a final settlement is reached, but some of the lowest paid council workers in Glasgow have struck a blow for equal pay right across the UK.”

Frances Stojilkovic, a Glasgow Home Care Coordinator and A4ES client said:

“I feel as if I haven’t drawn breath for the past four weeks, ever since the Court of Session threw out Glasgow’s application ‘seeking leave to appeal’ the WPBR decision to the UK Supreme Court in London.

“Thank heavens the Council has finally come to its senses. Home Carers in Glasgow are absolutely delighted that our jobs will get the recognition they deserve, after being so badly undervalued and underpaid for all this time.

“I hope the Council now gets down to business with Action 4 Equality Scotland and the trade unions to settle all the outstanding equal pay claims and put new pay arrangements in place, as quickly as possible.” 

Ends

For more information contact

Stefan Cross (A4ES)
Mark Irvine (A4ES)
Kim Patullo (Addleshaw Goddard - Solicitors)

Note to Editors
  • A battle over equal pay has been raging in Scottish councils since 2005 when Action 4 Equality Scotland (A4ES) first began to explain the huge differences in pay between traditional male and female council jobs.
  • The women’s jobs (carers, cleaners, catering staff, classroom assistants, clerical workers and so on) were typically paid £3.00 an hour less than male workers - gardeners, gravediggers, refuse workers etc).
  • The pay gap amounted to thousands of pounds a year - around £5,000 for many full-time council staff - these low paid workers had been cheated out of equal pay for many years.
  • In 2005 Glasgow accepted that its pay arrangements could not be justified which resulted in lump sum settlement offers being made to staff with potential claims equal pay claims - although employees who pursued their claims with A4ES achieved much better settlements.
  • GCC introduced new pay arrangements in 2007 which were agreed to by the local trade unions at the time - A4ES decided to challenge these new WPBR pay arrangements in the employment tribunals and higher courts.
  • The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld an appeal from A4ES in 2016 - and the Court of Session agreed with the EAT in June 2017, but CoS has now gone even further by striking down Glasgow 2007 pay arrangements on the basis that its Job Evaluation Scheme is unsound or ‘unfit for purpose’.
  • The Court of Session decision means that Glasgow now faces a mammoth bill and the real prospect of a flood of new cases.