Equal pay strike disrupts homecare services in Glasgow

Around 8,000 council workers took part in a two-day strike over equal pay this week disrupting homecare services in the city.

As well as affecting around 6,000 homecare users, primary schools and nurseries were closed for 48-hours amid claims by GMB and Unison that there has been no progress on equal pay claims for female workers.

Glasgow City Council introduced a new pay and grading scheme in 2006, which was supposed to end pay inequality based on gender. However, it included bonus protections for men but not women.

Women in traditionally female jobs, such as care assistants, caterers and cleaners, are being paid less than men in jobs such as refuse collection.

GMB Scotland organiser Rhea Wolfson said: ‘The truth is [Glasgow City Council] cannot deliver fair equal pay settlements without negotiating with the joint claimant organisations.

‘The council’s failure to meaningfully negotiate with us over the last year and its decision to walk away from its obligations to employees and service users alike has led us to this action.’

In a statement, Glasgow City Council said it had reached an agreement to ‘get back on negotiations’ with workers’ representatives.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Glasgow City Council leader, said: ‘My commitment to compensate [workers] for past injustice and ensure it does not happen again in the future remains unchanged.’