Back in 1997 there were meetings between unions and local government representatives to discuss equal pay. The idea was to kickstart the process of ensuring everyone was paid an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work and the result was the single status agreement. But things didn’t go as quickly as planned. In 2003, six years after the initial meeting a revised deal was agreed with a deadline of 2007 to implement the agreement. Come 2007 only a third of councils had implemeted the equal pay agreements. Adding fuel to the fire there was an EU ruling in 2004 that the disparity could be back-dated up to 6 years allowing many people to claim this.
It’s now 2009 and in many councils the workers are still waiting to see the fruits of this agreement. But the councils would do well to view the recent tribunal outcome regarding Bury Metropolitan Borough Council.
What the BBC don’t mention is that the council execs squandered over half a million quid trying to fight a legal requirement. And their response? Apologies for trying to defend immoral actions? Graciously accepting that they had been trying to keep the majority femaile workers on lower wages than they were legally entitled to? No, not a chance. Their attitude is that they expect the workers to pay. So says council chief Mark Sanders “Jobs will go – there’s no doubt about that,”.
Sound familiar? Those in authority cock things up, workers pay the price? Hmm, banking crisis anyone?
Anyways, congratulations to Unison for pushing this through. And shame on those councils and their leaders whose incompetence, stupidity, criminality, mysoginy and intransigence are creating a situation that is entirely their own creation. I hope the voters will be made aware come the local elections.