GMB says Equal Pay claimants have been ‘failed by every branch of government’
GMB Scotland has today (Thursday 7th September) said that low-paid women seeking equal pay justice have been failed by every branch of government, after a report to today revealed that 27,000 claims remain outstanding - and thousands more could still be lodged.
The Accounts Commission Report, ‘Equal Pay in Scottish Councils’ found there was a lack of collective national leadership to overcome challenges and address equal pay issues in a timely way, with councils left to resolve claims in isolation.
Since 2004, around 70,000 equal pay claims have been lodged against councils. The cost of compensation agreements and settling claims, along with legal fees, amounts to around £750 million – with significant numbers of claims still to be settled in local authorities like Glasgow City Council.
GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan said: “The report is correct to highlight a lack of national direction on equal pay and tens of thousands of low paid women have been failed by every branch of government.
What we have been left with is nothing short of a modern day scandal, because councils have squandered millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on legal fees to dodge the significant debts owed to low paid women – and major councils like Glasgow have still to settle.
Over a decade after this mess was supposed to have been sorted out, women are still having to fight for equal pay. What we’ve learned from councils like North Lanarkshire is that politicians and officials aren’t going to deliver equal pay settlements on a plate, court judgements merely open doors for claimants, and our members have to campaign industrially and politically for justice.
At the end of the day, these women are the backbone of our local services - our home carers, school cleaners and caterers - they are our mothers, daughters, partners and friends and they all deserve equal pay justice.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan on 07921 885 786