Glasgow's Fight For Equal Pay
Our members with equal pay claims in Glasgow will be outside the city chambers tomorrow morning with a message ahead the last full council meeting before May’s elections: “Equal pay hasn’t gone away.” Read more and full details for the demo👇https://t.co/bWVti4c4dV pic.twitter.com/ZkdtsshpkD— GMB Scotland (@GMBScotOrg) March 30, 2022
Glasgow's equal pay claimants are lobbying the City Council today to remind councillors that their fight for justice is far from over - and will continue until GCC replaces its discriminatory pay arrangements which are still in place 5 tears after being condemned as 'unfit for purpose' by the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court.
People Make Glasgow - Glasgow's Fight For Equal Pay (March 28, 2022)
Well the good news is that people really do make Glasgow.
Because just days ago no one was even talking about a further 'interim payment' in connection with Glasgow's long-running equal pay dispute.
Yet in the face another two-day strike from thousands of its lowest paid workers, which was due to start tomorrow (29 March), the city council has suddenly found the political will to make an improved offer, albeit one that lacks any detail at this stage.
Nonetheless it's a great achievement by the workforce and their trade unions since the prospect of a further payment costing around £250 million was not something the council had in mind until faced with another equal pay strike.
Lots of things could still go wrong of course, as they have in the past, but the reality is that if the GMB/Unison strike ballots had been unsuccessful, there would have been no 'new offer' and no prospect of a further interim payment on the table today.
The Glasgow claimants are where they are today because of their willingness to stick together and support strike action against their employer.
So I take my hat off to the workers and their supporters across the city - it's a real testament to what people can achieve when they are united behind a just cause.
Glasgow's Fight For Equal Pay (March 26, 2022)
So the city council has blinked first and been forced to rethink its approach to Glasgow's long-running equal pay dispute, as a two-day strike was due to get underway next week.
The SNP led council seems to have agreed to 'fast track' a further interim settlement to thousands of claimants and in return the trade unions have agreed to suspend the strikes planned for 29 and 30 March.
If the new deal goes ahead, the cost is likely to be around £250 million which is around the same amount that Scottish Ministers have wasted, so far, in not building two 'ghost ferries' on the Clyde.
If the council reneges on the new deal or continues to drag its feet, industrial action will be back on the table including two further days of strike action which are pencilled in for the end of April 2022
So no one is out of the woods yet and the council has still to explain where the money is coming from, but yet again the willingness of workers in Glasgow to strike in support of their fight for equal pay has proved to be decisive.
Glasgow's Fight For Equal Pay - Fine Words Butter No Parsnips (March 25, 2022)
The word on the street is that Glasgow City Council is beginning to shift its position over the strike in support of equal pay which is due to go ahead next week - Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 March 2022.
Now if the council is finally acknowledging the 'elephant in the room' and its growing equal pay debt mountain that has to be a good thing.
But, as the old saying goes, 'fine words butter no parsnips' so a number of key tests need to be met otherwise the strike is bound to go ahead:
1) Does any new settlement offer cover all claimants and all outstanding cases?
If not, it is divisive and unfair - and bound to be rejected
2) Does any new settlement offer cover at least the period from April 2018 to April 2022?
If not, Glasgow's 4 year equal pay 'debt mountain' will continue to grow and spiral out of control
3) How much is any new settlement offer worth - what is the cost to the council?
The claimants need to understand the collective value of any settlement to ensure they are not being offered a 'pig in a poke'
4) How is any new settlement offer being funded and where is the money coming from - given the council's previous insistence that its coffers are empty?
'Show us the money! - the claimants need to know that any new offer is secure and is not subject to further negotiation or agreement from third parties.
So let's hope Glasgow City Council is coming to its senses though it's worth pointing out that, yet again, the prospect of strike action has forced the council to get serious which is, of course, exactly what happened back in October 2019.