Reported by The Guardian – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
Thousands of women council workers in Glasgow are set to receive payouts that unions estimate could reach more than £500m in total following the resolution of a 12-year equal pay battle.
Last October more than 8,000 women employed in homecare, schools and nurseries, cleaning and catering services across the city took part in what was believed to be the biggest-ever equal pay strike in the UK.
Glasgow city council and the equal pay claimant group, represented by Action4Equality Scotland, and the Unison, GMB and Unite unions, confirmed on Thursday that they had reached an agreement in principle to a package of payments to resolve the historic claims.
The dispute, which has been fought through the tribunals and courts for more than a decade and involves about 14,000 separate claims, stems from 2006, when a new job evaluation scheme was introduced by the then Labour-run council, with the aim of addressing gender pay inequality. Instead, say the women affected, it entrenched discrimination by paying female-dominated jobs such as catering and cleaning less than male-dominated jobs such as refuse collection because of a complex system that penalised people working split shifts and irregular hours.
After decades of Labour control, the Scottish National party won control of the council in elections in May 2017 on a manifesto that promised to settle the claims. But the women’s representatives soon accused the council of failing to engage properly in negotiations, while critics accused the unions of manipulating the dispute to score points against the new SNP administration.
The leader of Glasgow city council, Susan Aitken, said she was “delighted” that the offer had been agreed. “My commitment to resolving this issue has never wavered and I have never needed to be convinced of the case for equality.”