North Lanarkshire Council regrets duration of equal pay talks

North Lanarkshire Council has expressed “extreme regret” over the length of time equal pay negotiations are taking.

Talks began earlier this year regarding “second wave” claims but an offer made some weeks ago is still being discussed.

June Murray, the council’s Executive Director of Corporate Services, said: “It’s important that our employees know where things currently stand.

“We have made an offer to the claimants’ solicitors and the council remains in talks in good faith to try to reach a solution.”

Mrs Murray also argued against calls to protest at councillors’ surgeries, saying that councillors are unable to intervene until the officials conducting the talks have reached a proposal.

Action 4 Equality Scotland represents many of the affected workers.

Spokesman Mark Irvine said: “I think the Labour politicians who have been running North Lanarkshire Council for the past 15 years are in a panic because a terrible backlash is building up over their handling of equal pay.

“While it’s true that settlement negotiations are being conducted by senior officials, these are the same officials, broadly speaking, who have made a complete dog’s dinner of equal pay over the years and who implemented local pay arrangements that blatantly discriminate against traditional, female dominated jobs.

“So the buck stops with the politicians because they set the Council’s overall strategy and have the final say about the size and scope of any settlement of all the outstanding claims.”