Female workers in Glasgow begin two-day strike over equal pay

Written by Jenni Davidson on 23 October 2018 in News

Teachers, cleaners, caterers and carers in Glasgow will strike for 48-hours over lack of progress in resolving equal pay disputes


 

Glasgow City Chambers - Image credit: Viv Lynch via Flickr

Around 8,000 femaleworkers employed by Glasgow City Council will strike today over equal pay, in what is expected to be the largest strike since the Equal Pay Act of 1970.

Schools, nurseries and home care will be affected as cleaners, caterers, care workers, nursery workers and teachers begin a two-day strike.

Meanwhile the STUC says it has received reports that male workers not directly involved in the dispute will support the women by refusing to cross the picket lines and enter work.

The strike follows an ongoing dispute over backdated pay and pensions to address historic pay disparities where roles typically done by women, such as cleaning and catering, were paid less than roles typically done by men, such as rubbish collection.

The council has been in talks with the council, but unions have said not enough progress being made.

UNISON Glasgow chair Mary Dawson said: “We have given the council 10 months to make progress on addressing the historical discrimination suffered by these workers.

“However, the council has agreed nothing, offered nothing and all we have had are meetings about meetings and talks about talks. It’s time for some action.”

GMB Scotland Organiser Rhea Wolfson said: “The truth is this council cannot deliver fair equal pay settlements without negotiating with the joint claimant organisations, a fact the chief executive [of Glasgow City Council] knows full well.

“The council’s failure to meaningfully negotiate with us over the last year and its decision to walk away from its obligations to employees and service users alike has led us to this action.

The council must to stop stalling and face the inevitable.

“[Glasgow City Council chief executive] Annemarie O’Donnell needs to take the responsibility her highly paid job demands by stepping out of the ivory tower and re-engaging with reality, which means a return to meaningful negotiation with the joint claimant group.”

But Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken told the BBC she didn’t think the strike was necessary.

“I don’t think it will change the outcome in any way,” she said.

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