Saturday, 9 February 2019

GMB and Equal Pay

I said in a previous post that the GMB's Gary Smith had 'played a blinder' in the fight for equal pay in Glasgow City Council and just to prove me right here's what Gary had to say in a recent interview with the Evening Times.

"The GMB Union, which had been highly criticised for its failure to adequately represent its female members, yesterday issued a vow that it would never let them down again.

"Gary Smith, GMB Scotland secretary, said: “When I came to Scotland just over three years ago our union was being attacked by our own members in North Lanarkshire over equal pay, and we were quite rightly being called out in the national media for this too.

“Our union was badly let down by its previous solicitors but we let ourselves down because we stopped acting as a proper trade union should, by campaigning – in the workplace, in the media and on the streets.

"By campaigning properly to defend our members’ interests, we managed to rectify the situation and secure full settlements for our members.

“But the situation in North Lanarkshire was dwarfed by the scale of the problem in Glasgow.

“From the outset in Glasgow, I told our members we will never hide from our failings. We had forgotten how to fight for the people who pay our wages and depend on us for a fair deal in life.

“Apologising, I said that we couldn’t change the past but together we could change the future.

“GMB Scotland is far better for this experience. It’s reminded us of our responsibility to give workers the confidence to organise under our banner.

“Equal pay has shown us how to campaign and fight again as a good trade union should.”

Now that's real leadership, if you ask me because instead of making lame excuses the GMB faced up to criticism, made some big changes and turned things around.

And instead of trying to hog the limelight or push himself to the fore, Gary Smith gave his full backing to two young women GMB officials who have worked tirelessly to restore the union's belief in itself and its ability to 'speak the truth to power'.


GMB and Equal Pay (18/01/19)

The GMB are holding a meeting on Monday (venue to be confirmed) to report back to members on the agreement reached with Glasgow City Council.

Stefan Cross will be there too and it's good to see the Claimants representatives working together as this has been crucial to our success.

If you ask me, the trade unions strike action back in October 2018 was a game changer because this forced Glasgow City Council to stop dragging its feet and to take settlement negotiations seriously, for the first time.

In my view, the GMB's Gary Smith has played a blinder since he took over from the union's old guard and he made a really smart move, as regional secretary, by giving his full backing to two young women GMB officials, Hazel Nolan and Rhea Wolfson, whose efforts have been unstinting on behalf of their members.

Should be a good meeting on Monday and I'll share the details once the venue is confirmed.


Join us for an equal pay meeting on Monday 6-8pm (venue tbc) with updates from our negotiating team and the amazing without whom we wouldn’t be here today.


GMB Welcomes ‘Significant Moment’ As Agreement Reached Over Equal Pay

Responding to confirmation today (Thursday 17 January) that Glasgow City Council and the Joint Claimant Organisations, GMB, Unison, Unite and Action 4 Equality, have reached an agreement that will lead to the settlement of 14,000 equal pay claims, GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan said: 

“This is a significant moment and is recognition of the value of women in this city, brought about by the women themselves understanding their own value and fighting for it together.

“Much will be said about the scale of the settlement reached but when you’re a worker on a wage what you’re selling ultimately is your time, and decades of systematic gender discrimination meant that women in Glasgow were forced to work longer hours for less.

“We need to be clear that this can only financially compensate women for the time stolen from them, the time that could have been spent with their families and loved ones can’t be repaid.

“What is important now is that the claimants and their families can have confidence in this agreement and in the process of delivery in the coming weeks and months.”