Campaign group hails 10 year battle against council

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Victory for campaign group which formed to fight for equal pay - and won 

18th January 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Low paid workers can expect thousands of pounds in back pay after Glasgow City Council finally accepted a landmark equal pay deal.

Equality campaigners are claiming victory after the council finally accepted a Court of Session ruling that the council's current pay arrangements are unfit for purpose.

Campaign group Action 4 Equality Scotland, who alongside trades unions have fought the council for 10 years on the issue, called the decision “momentous.”

It means thousands of workers in the city, mostly women who are care workers and cleaners, will get substantial sums paid back in arrears.  

Under archaic contracts, workers in female-dominated roles such as catering or cleaning receivied up to £3 an hour less than those in male-dominated areas such as refuse collection.

Stefan Cross QC, of Action 4 Equality, 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.

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

It is believed the settlement will cost the council around £500 million.

Some 8,000 workers took part in an equal pay strike last year at the council saying the issue had dragged on too long.

Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We were clear that this was always likely to take at least a year and the sheer volume of cases involved and the complexity of the council's pay and grading arrangements were such that this was never going to be easy.

“My commitment to resolving this issue has never wavered and I have never needed to be convinced of the case for equality.”

Workers are expected to receive money in the next financial year.

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary said women working for Glasgow City Council were "a step closer to equal pay."

He continued: "Having gone to court and been out on strike, it looks like the end is now in sight.

"Although there may be a few more months to wait before the women finally get their cheques, this is truly a day to celebrate."