Please see statement below from us and NLC. Whilst we are not quite there yet, things are progressing how we want them to.
Statement by North Lanarkshire Council and Fox and Partners, UNISON and Digby Brown:
North Lanarkshire Council and claimants’ representatives agree to enter discussions on equal pay
We are pleased to announce that, following meetings between North Lanarkshire Council, Fox and Partners, UNISON and Digby Brown, all parties wish to engage in exploratory discussions around equal pay.
This will include discussions on the three posts where the Council made concessions at an ongoing tribunal.
Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “I have instructed officers to enter into talks with the claimants’ representatives with a view to progressing negotiation on outstanding equal pay matters.
“This is a positive step forward and there will be further meetings. We have always had a commitment to ensure equality and to seek a mutually agreeable solution where this is appropriate.
Carol Fox of Fox and Partners said: “We are pleased that the council have agreed to enter in to discussions. This is the first step. There is no guarantee of success and unless the council are serious we will return to the Employment Tribunal. We are committed to reaching the best possible settlement in the interest of all our claimants. Our legal team have worked extremely hard to reach this point. As ever we will engage in constructive settlement discussions but these discussions must be progressed without delay.”
Peter Hunter of UNISON added: “UNISON cautiously welcomes the talks and, while negotiation is always difficult, we are optimistic that we can get agreement.
“We want two things. Our members have waited too long for the justice they deserve and the current claims should be settled now. However, we must also resolve the differences which gave rise to the claims. So we need the council to adopt measures to ensure fairness and equality for the future and that will be achieved through negotiation rather than litigation.”
Douglas Jaap of Digby Brown said: ‘We are hopeful that this long running litigation may now be brought to an end. We are looking forward to resolving matters positively on behalf of the GMB members with claims’
The parties involved have agreed to engage in a series of meetings over the coming months. In order to facilitate these discussions an application will be made to postpone further hearings due to take place at the Employment Tribunal in Glasgow. In the event that parties are unable to agree, new hearing dates can be fixed in due course.