Public services union UNISON has won an equal pay victory which will affect thousands of low-paid workers in Glasgow.
Women in Glasgow had been excluded from sizeable bonuses for many years. UNISON argued that while the claimants had been unfairly discriminated against before the new system was introduced, the council’s decision to continue the unequal pay was also discriminatory as it excluded women claimants from pay protection.
The court’s judgment was welcomed by 6,000 claimants of which UNISON – Scotland’s largest public service union – represents 1,400. Many have equal pay claims dating back to 2006. The Court of Session will now consider whether the current council pay system is a valid.
Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish secretary, said: “The win is great news. The way Glasgow rates and pays workers has been the source of conflict and division for 10 years. These women have already waited long enough to receive the pay they have worked hard for and deserve. It’s time for Glasgow City Council to do the right thing and pay up on equal pay.”
UNISON is also awaiting the Court of Session’s judgment in a second appeal which concerns the union’s challenge to the Glasgow City Council’s Workforce, Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR). In 2006, UNISON was not satisfied with the council’s way of measuring the value of jobs. The union believed that the system made it impossible for employees to know if they were being paid equal pay for equal work, as the law requires.