Glasgow City Council to pay up following equal pay victory
26 June 2017
UNISON Scotland has won an equal pay victory which will affect thousands of low-paid workers in Glasgow.
Women in Glasgow had been excluded from sizeable bonuses for many years. UNISON argued that while the claimants had been unfairly discriminated against before the new system was introduced, the council’s decision to continue the unequal pay was also discriminatory as it excluded women claimants from pay protection.
The Court of Session judgement (31 May 2017) will be welcome news to the 6,000 claimants of which UNISON – Scotland’s largest public service union – represents 1,400 claimants. Many have equal pay claims dating back to 2006. The Court of Session has also been asked to consider whether the current council pay system is a valid pay scheme (see last paragraph below).
Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary, said:
“The pay protection win is great news. The way Glasgow rates and pays workers has been the source of conflict and division for ten years. These women have already waited long enough to receive the pay they have worked hard for and deserve. It’s time for Glasgow City Council to do the right thing and pay up on equal pay.”
Suzanne Craig, UNISON’s legal officer, said:
“I am delighted that the Court of Session has ruled in favour of our women members. It also sends a clear message to Glasgow City Council that it cannot continue to defend these discriminatory practices any longer. This decision will deliver money for women who should have been paid more before single status and were then excluded from pay protection after single status.”
Second appeal refused
UNISON has been waiting for the Court of Session’s judgement in a second appeal which concerns their challenge to the Glasgow City Council’s Workforce, Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR). In 2006, UNISON was not satisfied with the council’s way of measuring the value of jobs. In particular, they objected to the use of different scales, one for core pay and others for non-core pay. UNISON believed that the system made it impossible for employees to know if they were being paid equal pay for equal work, as the law requires.
Employee Benefits has reported that the Court of Session has refused Glasgow City Council’s appeal bid.