Women council workers march in Glasgow for equal pay

Hundreds of women, some dressed as suffragettes, march through Glasgow calling for equal pay from the city council. Picture: PA
Hundreds of women, some dressed as suffragettes, march through Glasgow calling for equal pay from the city council. Picture: PA
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Hundreds of women, some dressed as suffragettes, have marched through Glasgow demanding equal pay from the city council.

Unison said that having won their legal case last year the women are now demanding a fair and transparent pay and grading scheme and full compensation for the pay they say they have been denied.

The march comes days after the centenary of some women winning the right to vote for the first time.

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Glasgow City Council (GCC) had appealed against a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that they had continued to discriminate against women through the introduction of payment protections upholding the earnings of male colleagues following the initial wave of equal pay awards.

However, Court of Session judge Lady Dorrian refused the council’s appeal last May.

Unison said the council has now agreed to discuss a settlement for the 11,000 claimants with it and other trade unions.

On Saturday hundreds of women, led by around 30 dressed as suffragettes, marched from Glasgow Green to the council headquarters in George Square for a rally.

Unison Glasgow city branch chairwoman Carol Ball said: “This is not about robbing Peter to pay Pauline. It’s about equality and justice.

“We must focus on delivering equal pay now and in the future.

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“The council did not want to pay the cost of equality in 2006 and ordinary working people of Glasgow should not have to pay the price of inequality with loss of jobs and services.

“This will be one of the largest re-distributions of wealth in the history of Glasgow. We are rightly putting money in the pockets of Glasgow’s low paid women. But our fight for equality is far from over.

“There is plenty of money in society, it’s just in the wrong hands and the people of Glasgow shouldn’t have to pay twice for this injustice. The long march for equality will continue.”

She added: “We have welcomed the fact that the SNP and the full council agreed not to go any further with the legal route so they have stopped the legal route and they are in talks to try and settle the past discrimination.

“But we think we need to keep up the pressure, we need to make them absolutely clear that we’re not going away, that they need to pay up now for past discrimination and for the future they need to have a quality approved job evaluation scheme that delivers pay equality going forward.”

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: “In moving to negotiation, we have sent a clear message to our lower paid women employees about the value we place on the crucial work they do.

“However we meet the final costs of the settlements we will reach, our commitment to protecting frontline jobs and services will be absolute.

“And whatever the bill, the cost of not negotiating a settlement, of not pursuing justice, is much greater.”

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