Council agrees new pay and grading system for workers
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