Glasgow council ‘holds women back’
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.”