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First pay-outs made to Glasgow equal pay claimants

Glasgow City Chambers - Image credit: Viv Lynch via Flickr

First pay-outs made to Glasgow equal pay claimants

Glasgow City Council has begun paying settlements to thousands of claimants, most of them women, involved in a long-running equal pay dispute.

In January, a £500m payout was agreed to in principle between council leader Susan Aitken and trade unions and lawyers representing around 14,000 mainly female council workers.

The dispute began in 2006 when Glasgow City Council adopted a job evaluation scheme that resulted in a number of female-dominated roles being paid less than male-dominated ones.

In 2017, the Court of Session ruled that the pay and benefits review in Glasgow had discriminated against female workers.

Councillor Susan Aitken said the first settlements were paid on Wednesday and should reach workers today and tomorrow. The council said further batches will be paid daily, in the order they were accepted by claimants and within the agreed timescales.

“Today is the day we can finally allow ourselves to say we are making good on equal pay and a promise of justice for thousands of women workers,” she said.

“Today is the day that hundreds of millions of pounds starts to find its way into the pockets and purses of thousands of people who earned it and who always should have had it.”

Aitken added: “This is a hugely significant step forward for the council and the city as a whole. This deal not only means we can meet our responsibilities on equal pay – but do so while safeguarding the future of the city’s property assets in public use.”

The SNP had committed to resolving the historical pay dispute when it became the largest party on the council in 2017, but in October 2018 thousands of council workers in Glasgow went on strike over a perceived lack of progress towards a deal.

After the settlements have been made, a new job evaluation process will be carried out to replace the current pay scheme.

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