Settlement is reached over long-standing equal pay claim in Glasgow.
Glasgow City Council and the GMB, Unison, Unite and Action 4 Equality, have reached an agreement on an equal pay claim.
The equal pay case involves around 14,000 equal pay claims and has been going on for over 10 years. Glasgow council introduced a new pay and grading scheme in 2006, which aimed to put an end to pay inequality based on gender. However, it included protections lasting three years for bonuses paid to men.
That prompted employment tribunal cases arguing that it was both unfair and unlawful to continue pay discrimination for three years after the new scheme was put into place.
At the same time, the scheme itself gave rise to employment tribunal claims that it was itself discriminatory. It was argued that women in traditionally female jobs – people such as caterers, cleaners and care assistants – found they were being paid less per hour than men in jobs such as refuse collection.
Commenting on the settlement on Thursday, 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.”
She added: “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.”
Around 8,000 women including school administration workers, learning support workers in schools, nursery workers, home carers, cleaners, caterers and other council workers are said to have taken part in a strike at the end of last year in connection with the long-standing dispute. The strike was supported by unofficial action by hundreds of male refuse workers.