Glas­gow coun­cil ‘holds women back’

The Herald on Sunday - - 29.10.17 SOCIETY -

GLAS­GOW City Coun­cil has been guilty of “sys­tem­at­i­cally dis­crim­i­nat­ing” against women for decades, ac­cord­ing to the GMB union. The union is now de­mand­ing an ur­gent call for “ac­tion not words” from the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

The at­tack on the coun­cil is made in a strongly-worded mo­tion to this week’s Scot­tish Trade Union Congress Women’s Con­fer­ence, which also claims Glas­gow will “never truly flour­ish” while its women are be­ing held back. It in­sists that es­sen­tial ser­vices such as clean­ing, car­ing and cater­ing, cur­rently pro­vided by arm­slength ex­ter­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Cor­dia, must be ur­gently brought back in house. The coun­cil claims it is com­mit­ted to car­ry­ing out a re­view of the fea­si­bil­ity of this.

Cor­dia work­ers’ pay is still not in line with those di­rectly em­ployed by the coun­cil and al­though work­ers have now been of­fered a one per cent in­crease the union ar­gues the true fig­ure should be 10 per cent.

In Au­gust, lawyers rep­re­sent­ing low­paid women work­ers at the coun­cil won a long-run­ning equal pay case, ar­gu­ing that a re­grad­ing scheme in­tro­duced in 2007 pro­vided less favourable treat­ment for women work­ers. About 6,000 women are pur­su­ing equal pay claims against the coun­cil.

GMB Scot­land Glas­gow branch sec­re­tary Rhea Wolf­son said: “We have work­ers ter­ri­fied to take a day off sick be­cause they fear fi­nan­cial reper­cus­sions. We have women who have been dis­crim­i­nated against for the past decade who, if they had been paid prop­erly, po­ten­tially could have worked fewer hours which would mean more time with their fam­i­lies. The monies owed could have meant less fi­nan­cial pres­sure and a bet­ter qual­ity of life.”

The SNP’s Su­san Aitken said: “We have al­ready done more in the last six months to put that right than had been achieved in the last decade. We are round the ta­ble and we are talk­ing.”

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