Coun­cil agrees new pay and grading sys­tem for work­ers

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY ED­DIE HARBINSON Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

FE­MALE pub­lic sec­tor work­ers moved a step closer to equal pay af­ter city chiefs agreed to adopt a new wage grading sys­tem.

Glas­gow City Coun­cil has been locked in talks with unions and lawyers to set­tle equal pay dis­putes all linked to the Work­force Pay and Ben­e­fits Re­view sys­tem, which was orig­i­nally in­tro­duced in 2006 to tackle gen­der pay gaps.

It has been ar­gued that the WPBR pol­icy dis­crim­i­nated against women as fe­male­dom­i­nated jobs such as car­ing re­ceived less than male-dom­i­nated ar­eas, in­clud­ing cleans­ing.

Su­san Aitken, the leader of the coun­cil, said: “We agreed to aban­don the cur­rent WPBR pay and grading scheme adopted in 2006 and re­place it with a new scheme. We in­structed of­fi­cers to look at a num­ber of po­ten­tial op­tions and se­lect a scheme they thought was more ap­pro­pri­ate for Glas­gow City Coun­cil to adopt.”

Ms Aitken said that with the new sys­tem there would be “win­ners and losers” but that there had been equal­ity proof­ing sur­veys car­ried out to en­sure fair­ness across the gen­ders.

She also ad­mit­ted that full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the scheme could take up to three years.

Ms Aitken added: “The equal­ity proof­ing part of it was im­por­tant so the scheme is the least chal­lenge­able and will de­liver the most equal­ity in terms of gen­der pay.

“For ev­ery­one’s sake, I would hope to have this im­ple­mented sooner rather than later be­cause clearly, while WPBR has not been found to be dis­crim­i­na­tory by the courts, it has come un­der such chal­lenge, I have no con­fi­dence that it would pass a test had it got that far in the courts.”

The new scheme was wel­comed by mem­bers across the po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Labour group leader Frank McAveety said: “We have to find real solutions that are ro­bust should the law change.

“We need a sys­tem that tack­les that is­sue fun­da­men­tally.

“I wel­come the speed we’ve ar­rived at this stage.”

And Al­lan Young, Co-con­venor of the Green Coun­cil­lors Group, added: “The de­ci­sion to adopt the job eval­u­a­tion scheme used by most Scot­tish coun­cils is a wel­come step.

“The Greens were clear that we had no con­fi­dence in the coun­cil’s previous scheme and it must be re­placed.

“The pri­or­ity now must be to get ev­ery­one back to ne­go­ti­a­tions and en­sure we get a fair equal pay set­tle­ment for those who have lost out for so long.”

Su­san Aitken, leader of Glas­gow City Coun­cil

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