UNISON Scotland has won a second big equal pay victory today (Friday) which will affect thousands of low-paid workers in Glasgow.
The successful appeal to the Court of Session concerns UNISON’s challenge to the Glasgow City Council’s Workforce, Pay and Benefits Review. In 2006, UNISON was not satisfied with the council’s way of measuring the value of jobs. In particular, UNISON 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.
The Court of Session has ruled that the Glasgow City Council scheme failed to show that the job evaluation scheme is “…thorough in its analysis, objective, transparent, accurate, internally sound and consistent, sufficiently detailed, and fair and did not follow the advice of the Equal Opportunities Commission, or comply with Equal Pay Act 1970, now subsumed into the Equality Act 2010.”
The court’s judgement will be welcome news to the 6,000 claimants. UNISON – Scotland’s largest public service union – represents 1,400 claimants. Many have equal pay claims dating back to 2006.
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 and then rated them unfairly under Workforce Pay and Benefits Review.
Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary, said: “This judgement that the Glasgow scheme is flawed is great news for low paid women workers. 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. We call on the new administration in the council to work with us to resolve the issues surrounding fair pay in Glasgow.”
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 who were then excluded rated unfairly after single status.”
Isobel O’Brien, social care worker and UNISON member, said “We need to value the work women do. It’s unacceptable that women have to continue to fight for equal pay. Women do vital work in the city: educating, caring, cleaning and other important services. Hopefully we can now all work together to resolve the issues and ensure, something we all want, that women in the city get equal pay.”
Notes to editors
- Today’s Court of Session judgement will be available online from around 12pm today at https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/court-of-session
- In May this year, UNISON Scotland won an equal pay victory which affected thousands of low-paid workers in Glasgow.
- Women in Glasgow had been excluded from sizeable bonuses for many years. UNISON argued that the claimants had been unfairly discriminated against before the new system was introduced, and the council’s decision exclude women claimants from pay protection was therefore also discriminatory
- Mike Kirby, Scottish secretary, 07939 143355
- Dave Watson, head of policy, 07958 122409
- Danny Phillips, communications officer, 0141 342 2877