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Glasgow City Council and The Fight for Equal Pay
As you may have heard, Action 4 Equality Scotland (A4ES) was in the Court of Session recently involving two separate, but related hearings with Glasgow City Council on equal pay.
The A4ES legal team did a great job on our clients behalf, by all accounts, and although we cannot predict the outcome it makes sense for us to plan ahead and be prepared.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh (Scotland's highest civil court) considered two main issues:
the pay protection arrangements put in place by Glasgow City Council following the introduction of its WPBR scheme in 2006/07
the operation of the WPBR and its component parts - Core Pay, WCD and NSWP
The written decision of the court is some way off, but the hearings went well and A4ES is now considering how best to move things forward.
Protection Period Claims
If the claimants win the pay protection argument, this will trigger a further claim for existing claimants for the period from 2006/07 onwards - and at least until 2009.
It is possible that protection claims could extend beyond 2009 because Glasgow’s pay protection arrangements did end after 3 years due to the City Council's so-called Employee Development Commitment (EDC).
The EDC gave a guarantee that the higher earnings of former bonus earning jobs, e.g. Gravediggers, would be maintained going forward and without limit of time. The A4ES position is that Glasgow's women workers are entitled to the same treatment as their male comparators.
Glasgow's JE Scheme
If the Court of Session upholds the challenge to the JE scheme (WPBR), the WPBR will fall which means that existing A4ES claimants will have a further 'second wave' equal pay entitlement from 2006/07 to date - and going forward from 2017 as well.
If the Court of Session finds the WPBR to be unsatisfactory and not ‘fit for purpose’, this will open up a whole new raft of claims for employees who have not registered an equal pay claim up until now. A newly registered claim would jump back a full 5 years, i.e. to 2012, and that entitlement will continue until the case is settled.
So A4ES is now prepared to consider taking on new claims on the basis that these will be actively pursued in the event of a favourable judgement from the Court of Session.
If we were to wait until the CoS decision is actually released and its implications assessed, this would delay the effective starting date of any new claim which means it makes sense for people to act now and safeguard their interests.
Settlement discussions with GCC
A4ES remains willing to enter into settlement discussions with the City Council, but the previous Labour-run administration failed to engage seriously on this issue between August 2017 and January 2017.
Before any serious negotiations could begin, the City Council would need to ‘open the books' regarding the operation of the WPBR, so that the size and scale of any potential settlement could be properly and fairly assessed.
Up until now the City Council has failed to deliver the pay information to explain fully the workings of the WPBR or, for example, its Employee Development Commitment (EDC) to former bonus earning workers.
We hope the new SNP-led administration will adopt a more positive approach than its Labour predecessors.
New Claimants in Glasgow
Please help spread the word to potential new claimants - existing clients can assist by sharing the contents of this email with friends and co-workers. The more clients who sign up with A4ES the stronger our negotiating hand becomes with Glasgow City Council which has been dragging its feet over equal pay for years.
So the more knew clients who join up with A4ES the better.
If you know of anyone who would like to enquire about a new claim with A4ES, please ask them to drop an email to Karl Bromley at: firstname.lastname@example.org or they can complete our online application form by going to our section