The County You Live, Work And Play
SLC And Unions Strike Deal
An equal pay deal valued at more than £10m has been struck between South Lanarkshire Council and trade unions and lawyers representing existing and ex-local authority workers.
Unions UNISON, the GMB and Unite are among those representing around 2500 to 3000 outstanding South Lanarkshire claimants, whose claims are understood to total between £10m and £12m.
The agreement – or ‘memorandum of understanding’ – between the council and unions was announced at a South Lanarkshire executive committee meeting.
These claims emerged after a £70.4m settlement in February 2014 for 3000 council workers and ex-workers, like low-paid cooks, cleaners, home carers and dinner ladies, whose claims had been pursued by solicitors Fox and Partners, Stefan Cross QC and Action 4 Equality Scotland Ltd.
Both settlements relate to traditional low-skilled male jobs being paid more than traditional female jobs which have an equal or higher level of skill.
A source close to negotiations said that the deal is expected to be settled by the summer.
A statement issued by South Lanarkshire’s executive director of finance and corporate resources Paul Manning said: “South Lanarkshire has long been committed to fair pay for those in comparable jobs, regardless of gender, and the council has always been clear that any employee who was entitled to money should get it.
“When the settlement was reached last year we said that any further claims that were made would be dealt with appropriately.
“This included a series of meetings with claimant representatives and diligent fact-checking by all parties.
“I can confirm that this process is now nearly concluded, and that a memorandum of understanding has been agreed with the representative of the largest group of claimants, which we anticipate will also form the basis of a settlement with other groups of outstanding claimants.”
“The details of progress made in negotiations and of the memorandum of understanding were presented to the council’s executive committee (on April 29), and members gave the council’s officers and legal representatives approval to continue work towards concluding this matter.”
A UNISON spokesman said: “UNISON are now waiting on South Lanarkshire Council to send the settlement papers to our solicitors so that they can then send offers to UNISON members.”