UNISON statement on current Equal Pay tribunal
UNISON is pursuing in excess of 1000 equal pay claims against North Lanarkshire Council, dating back to the introduction of a new pay system rejected by UNISON in 2006. Although the revised salaries in the pay system removed the discriminatory bonus scheme, women are still underpaid when compared with men.
Although the hearing is still only at a preliminary stage, and evidence is still being heard, the Council has admitted that the job scores for hundreds of women are invalid because they were secretly reduced without trade union knowledge, and that the records explaining the reduction have been destroyed. The jobs which are Home Support worker 1 and 2, Dining Room Assistants, and School Crossing Patrollers will now have to be re-evaluated.
As we are at such an early stage we are unsure what the real effect of this will be, but we will keep everyone informed as things progress.
For clarification. the concession by the Council affects 75% of the UNISON claimants. The claims for the remaining 25% will continue in the tribunal, although we once again call on the Council to settle the cases out of court and stop wasting public money on lawyers.
Peter Hunter, UNISON Regional Organiser said:
“We welcome the council’s belated decision to re-visit the way they valued this large group of vital workers. Now is the time to move forward. We don’t accept the claim that the women were underpaid “in error” but the decision to re-evaluate the jobs is a helpful step in the right direction. It would be quicker and cheaper to evaluate the jobs around a desk in the Council HQ without troubling an ACAS expert, but in any event, “the only way is up” for women whose jobs have been undervalued for the last eight years”