GMB Scotland Statement
In response to some media reports and posts on social media before, during and after the recent Glasgow Women’s Strike, GMB welcomes the opportunity to publicly address the categorically untrue claims that our union agreed to Glasgow City Council’s discriminatory WPBR (or job evaluation scheme).
It is a matter of public record that any such claims are untrue. As the Employment Tribunal Judgement in Miss J McDonald & others v Glasgow City Council (ET case 102958/2011) makes clear (see paras 245-279), the trade unions did not reach any “deal” with Glasgow City Council on the implementation of the new pay and grading structure.
Precisely because of the opposition of the trade unions to the implementation of the new scheme, the Council was forced to negotiate variations to contracts of employment on an individual basis over a period of several months. On 1 April 2007, this resulted in the Council imposing their new pay and grading structure on any employee with whom they had not reached an individual agreement.
The historical mistake on our part was that we were not aggressive enough in industrially challenging the employer. We were too reliant on lawyers, who we have since sacked, and we should have put more focus on dealing with these matters by campaigning. We have a far different approach to how we go about our business since a change of leadership in 2015.
This is something from which we have never hidden or run from. We had honest conversations with our members about what went wrong in the past and moved to begin rectifying that by campaigning alongside them and on their behalf.
Ours is now a campaign that is run by women, from the workplace to the negotiating table, and the impact that is having in helping a new generation of women at work realise their strength is evident for everyone to see.
GMB has no desire whatsoever to stifle debate which has arisen as a result of equal pay and this strike but it is vital that this is informed by facts and not misinformation.
Rest assured we will defend the integrity of our union vigorously at all times.