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Glasgow City Council

Equal pay claims - latest news

11 November 2022

Equal Pay Update

We are committed to keeping you updated about all matters relating to equal pay and pay and grading, this update provides you with the latest information.

On 28 September, we updated you on the financial strategy aimed at securing funds to allow us to settle outstanding equal pay claims. The City Administration Committee approved that strategy, and we anticipate that we will be able to finalise the funding agreement towards the end of this month.

Whilst Senior Officers have worked to finalise the funding, our negotiating team has continued to engage with representatives of the Trade Union backed claimants and those of Action 4 Equality Scotland.

Following a period of intense negotiations, we are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with this main claimant group. That agreement ends the current equal pay dispute with the Trade Unions, and paves the way for the final settlement of claims and an end to the long-running equal pay litigation against the council.

The terms of the agreement in principle remain confidential as all sides work on agreeing the details that will allow individual offers to be determined. Negotiators will now continue their work to finalise the terms of individual settlement offers, including how and when payments will be made. These are complicated issues and will still require significant work. All sides are however committed to progressing these as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Payments will now be made to around 19000 claimants - current and former employees - to cover the "gap period" between the first agreement in 2018 and the implementation of the new pay and grading system.

This agreement means the total cost of compensating staff involved in equal pay claims will be around £770 million. This has been predominantly funded by two rounds of sale and leaseback involving a range of council buildings including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the City Chambers with lease periods up to 30 years.

We will update you in future on the likely timeline to process offers and payment to claimants.

28 September 2022

We are committed to keeping you updated about all matters relating to equal pay and pay and grading, this update provides you with the latest information.

Funding equal pay claims

Senior officers have recently negotiated an external funding deal as part of a financial strategy to provide funds of around £270 million in total to settle outstanding equal pay claims, including all costs.

The funding strategy involves realising the value of the property assets of the council family.

We want to reassure you that this funding strategy is a financial arrangement to generate income for the council and will have no impact on how and where staff work, or on the delivery of any council services for the city.

The funding deal includes external finance for the sale and lease back of council family owned properties and services delivered from the properties will continue to operate as they do now. The properties include: Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Kelvin Hall, Gallery of Modern Art, City Chambers, Sighthill School Campus and Gowanbank School Campus.

The funding strategy is a decision for the City Administration Committee and a report is going to the committee to request approval to proceed on 29 September, you can read the report on the website here. The report also provides an update on the pay and grading project which has recently started, you can read the summary below.

Equal pay negotiations

Negotiations with representatives of the main claimant group have taken place over the summer and are continuing. There is a shared commitment to make progress from all sides but these negotiations are complex and key issues still have to be resolved. 

Future discussions will seek to achieve settlement of claims for the period up to the date on which the new pay and grading scheme is implemented (referred to as the gap period). Even where those key issues are resolved and an agreement reached in principle, a significant amount of work will need to be undertaken to process offers and payments.

At the same time, negotiations are also taking place with representatives of smaller groups of claimants. 

Once negotiations have been finalised, we will be in a better position to provide an update on the likely timeline to process offers and payment to claimants.

Settlement of all these claims will bring an end to the equal pay litigation against the council. 

30 June 2022

As part of our last equal pay update on June 10, we explained that negotiations had unfortunately been paused for a number of weeks due to circumstances outwith the council's control.

At that point, we were uncertain if this pause would have an impact on when it will be possible to make offers and payments to claimants. It is now clear that it will.

You will be aware it had previously been hoped that initial offers could be made to some claimants as early as August - with more to follow in October. Having now been able to resume discussions, all parties - including the trades unions and legal teams representing claimants - agree that this is no longer achievable, and the proposed timelines will need to be extended.

At this stage, we do not have definitive dates to share with you - however, everyone involved is conscious that, even after agreement is reached, there is a major administrative exercise to be completed to issue offers and process payments.

We have a series of negotiation meetings scheduled for July and August and all parties remain committed to making progress on outstanding matters as soon as possible.

We are also working hard to understand what the likely new timeline will be and, once we have more detail, we will update you further.

13 June 2022

Some time has now passed since we last communicated with staff about equal pay matters and we felt it was important to provide an update on the current position.

Unfortunately, due to an issue affecting those representing some claimants and over which the council had no control; negotiations were unable to take place for a number of weeks.

This, inevitably, has posed a challenge for all parties - particularly in terms of meeting the proposed timeline for offers, which was already tight.

Negotiations have now resumed.  We don't yet know for sure what impact the recent pause will have on our ability to conclude negotiations within the planned timescale, but all parties are committed to making progress on outstanding issues.

We appreciate that these matters directly affect many of our staff. The council is committed to resolving equal pay issues and we will continue to keep you updated.

16 March 2022

Colleagues,

By now many of you will be aware that strike action is planned by groups of staff with equal pay claims on 29 and 30 March and 20 and 21 April.

I urge the staff involved in this strike action to think again about the consequences of their decision given that the council has already stated its intention to make offers on the majority of new claims on the basis of the 2019 deal.

Vital council services that look after our most vulnerable citizens and support the education of our young people will be affected by this strike. 

To update you further on this commitment, on 10 March the City Administration Committee approved recommendations in a report on equal pay to:

  • provide funding of around £30 million for equal pay claims
  • seek agreement with claimant representatives on:
    • the calculation of individual settlement offers
    • the date from which settlement payments will be made.

You can read the full report here.

I can assure you that senior council officers are ready to proceed with negotiations with claimant representatives in relation to the new claims, as soon as is possible, to resolve this matter.

I also want to remind you that as previously stated, we have always been committed to considering options to deal with what is often referred to as 'the gap period' - the time between 2018 and the eventual implementation of a new pay and grading scheme. We are currently working through options to finding a solution.

I hope that when you read this, you now understand that the council is committed to resolving the issue of equal pay and dealing with equal pay claims, making sure that everyone who works for the council is paid equally for equal work.

I remain committed to talking with our trade unions when they are willing to do so, to resolve this dispute and the affect it will have on vital city services.

Regards,
Annemarie O'Donnell
Chief Executive

23 February 2022

The council is committed to resolving the issue of equal pay and dealing with equal pay claims, making sure that everyone who works for the council is paid equally for equal work.

We reached an agreement to settle a substantial number of claims in 2019 - and it was agreed by all parties, at that time, that we would then seek to deal with new claims covering the same period.

While these claims were explicitly not covered by the 2019 agreement, the council has made it clear in discussions with claimants' representatives that its proposed approach remains absolutely rooted in that deal.

As a result, we can now update you that the council is prepared to make offers to settle new claims on the basis of the 2019 deal.

We have also always been committed to considering options to deal with what is often referred to as 'the gap period' - the time between 2018 and the eventual implementation of a new pay and grading scheme, and negotiations will continue on this area.  We are currently working through options to finding a solution.

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