Glasgow City Council pledges to bring forward payments to claimants

The joint trade unions – Unite, Unison and GMB – representing claimants in the Glasgow City Council equal pay scandal have today (11 November) welcomed a commitment to settle outstanding payments.

Glasgow City Council last night (10 November) agreed to pay about £770 million to settle the equal pay claims to around 19,000 present and former workers by the end of next year.

The agreement pledges to cover a “gap period” between an initial agreement in 2018 and a new pay and grading system, which was originally scheduled to be introduced in 2024.

The trade unions had previously accused Glasgow City Council of ‘unnecessary delays’ in the process of settling the equal pay claims, and accordingly balloted their respective members over industrial action.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer, said: Unite welcomes that due to trade union pressure put on Glasgow City Council our principal concerns over the outstanding equal pay settlements for around 19,000 claimants are now being addressed.

Crucially, the gap between the first agreement in 2018 and the unacceptable delays associated with the implementation of a new pay and grading system has in principle been resolved. This will ensure that settlements can now be made before 2024 which was the timeframe originally proposed by Glasgow City Council. There is a cost of living crisis with inflation soaring and this agreement will provide immediate and much needed assistance to families.”

GMB Scotland Branch Convener, Shona Thomson commented: “The agreement reached between unions and Glasgow City Council is a hard fought victory for working class women who have fought for years to secure equal pay.

“They have had to strike to reach this deal in the past and it has taken the threat of strike for GCC to pay back what was owed to these workers who are the backbone of our public services.

“It should not be in doubt that this deal has been won through an organised and strong workforce who have demonstrated incredible solidarity with each other on pickets and in the workplace.

 “We’ve come a long way in the fight for pay justice. However, there still remains the outstanding matter of council wide job evaluations. GMB Scotland’s focus and efforts will now be on delivering a new, fair pay system which will secure equal pay for the years ahead.”

 Mandy McDowall, UNISON Regional Organiser, added: “We are coming to the end of a long journey on past gender pay discrimination. This is another important transfer of monies due to the women of Glasgow. The fight has been fought on many fronts in the past 15 years - political, industrial and of course the legal front. 

 We now move on to the final stage of eliminating pay inequality in the future through the introduction of an equality proofed new pay and grading scheme. That will require further significant spending by the council in the years ahead.”