Council reaches agreement with union over equal pay claims

GMB members protest outside Motherwell Civic Centre in March
GMB members protest outside Motherwell Civic Centre in March

North Lanarkshire Council leader Councillor Jim Logue has welcomed a significant breakthrough in the council’s long-running equal pay claims dispute.

The council has reached agreement with the GMB union affecting around 200 employees across a range of jobs.

Back in March GMB Scotland organiser Hazel Nolan estimated there were still around 2,000 claims to be processed, but is happy progress is starting to be made with the council’s new leadership.

She said: “A recent change in leadership at the council prompted fresh negotiations and improved settlement offers subsequently followed, meaning GMB Scotland members can now look forward to significant equal pay awards.

“The new council leadership immediately recognised the need to resolve this inequality and their willingness to work with GMB Scotland in negotiating a proper settlement means our members are at last getting justice.

“Our ‘Equal Pay Now!’ campaign was organised after our members, including home care workers, cleaners and janitors, were forced into a protracted dispute with NLC’s previous leadership over pay discrimination in comparison with their male counterparts.”

Councillor Logue added: “I have made it clear since becoming council leader that we will settle equal pay claims where these are justified.

“I am pleased to say this agreement in principle, which is subject to further discussion, with the GMB union, is a positive step towards that aim.

“This is a major milestone which I hope will mark a departure from the confrontations of the past. We have negotiated in a sensible and constructive manner with the GMB and its legal advisers to reach agreement.

“If anything, this shows how quickly justified settlements can be reached through willingness to sit down and talk.

“This council has paid around £100 million in equal pay claims since they began and we want to resolve this issue.”