Council workers across Glasgow set to strike over equal pay dispute

Unison members of Glasgow City Council announced on Monday that the strikes will take place on March 29 and 30.

Council workers across Glasgow set to strike for two days over equal pay dispute in March iStock

Council workers across Glasgow are set to go on a two-day strike over the equal pay dispute.

Unison has said its members in Glasgow will strike on March 29 and 30 and will do so again in April if there is no resolution to the dispute.

The trade union has called out nearly 9000 members, and its sister trade union, which could see over 12,000 workers go on strike.

The strikes will affect home care, cleaning, catering, schools, nurseries, residential homes, homelessness hostels, addiction services and admin functions across the council. 

It comes amid claims that Glasgow City Council has failed to resolve outstanding equal pay settlements or replace its grading system.

Kath Stirling, UNISON Branch Chair, said: “The purpose of the strike action is to force the council to maintain the current arrangements for equal pay compensation payments.

“These were won after the last strike but the council is moving to tear-up those arrangements. This could see smaller payments for some and others left out completely. 

“There is no moral or political justification for such an approach.

“These are the same women, in the same jobs still being paid under the same discriminatory gender pay scheme. The women and their jobs haven’t changed so why should the compensation arrangements.

“We say no dumping of the 2019 deal. No exclusions.

“We have been fighting for equal pay justice for years in the courts, workplaces and streets.  We have fought previous council administrations and we have fought this one. 

“We are not going away until the council meets its obligations to women in this city”

The council agreed a settlement of more than £500m with nearly 16,000 current and former employees in 2019.

Women claimed they were paid £3 an hour less than men in similarly graded roles after a 2006 pay review aimed at ensuring pay parity.

The union said that, since then, nearly 20,000 claimants are awaiting settlements for the period after that, and around 5,500 new claims have been lodged for the period prior to March 2018.

GMB Scotland organiser Sean Baillie said: “The council’s officials have dithered and delayed for nearly a year on bringing forward an offer for interim payments owed to our members with equal pay claims.

“Put yourself in the position of a home carer or school cleaner who has worked throughout the pandemic knowing they are still being discriminated against by their employer, while highly paid officials who worked from home try to shift the goalposts on paying their liabilities.

“It’s totally unacceptable and there should be no misunderstanding whatsoever in the council about why our members have demanded moving to fresh waves of strike action.

“The council must meet its obligations to these workers by tabling an offer for the settlement of interim payments and new claims, so that we can move forward to replace the discriminatory pay and grading system and bring this scandal to a close.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “We simply don’t recognise this characterisation of the council’s position.

“Last week, committee gave officials authority to make offers to new claimants on the same basis as the 2019 deal.

“The council is absolutely following the process agreed with claimants’ representatives and firmly believes that negotiation is the way to settle these cases.

“We’ll be seeking a meeting with unions this week.”

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