Today we had the our first and quite possibly last negotiating meeting with GCC.
It went so badly we have prepared a joint statement from A4ES , GMB AND UNISON. UNITE weren’t there but we hope they will endorse the statement once they’ve been fully briefed. – here is the statement.
Joint Statement- A4E, GMB, Unison following equal pay settlement negotiations 18.8.21
This morning the joint claimant group (A4E, GMB, Unison) met with the Council to formally restart negotiations. Our shared priority is to settle all outstanding claims up to March 2018, to put all claimants into the same position. Our other urgent work is to finally resolve the issues with pensions for all those who have already received a settlement but not had their pension recalculated properly.
The next step will be to secure another interim settlement for all claimants.
Settling everyone up to March 2018 will cost the Council in the region of £45m, money we are certain they have access to from previous borrowing exercises. This should be a very straightforward process as we have the settlement blueprint from 2019.
However, the Council have informed us that their position is that they will not replicate the previous settlement arrangements. More importantly they wished to renegotiate all the comparators. Some might stay the same others would go down. This means that they would be happy to have two colleagues doing exactly the same job, receive different amounts of money purely based on when they lodged their claim.
The joint claimant group will not accept this position. Not only will this delay the process, it is grossly unfair. Parity for all claimants is a core principle for the joint claimant group.
We have also received a very dissatisfactory update on pensions. Mistakes were made by the Council in the recalculation of pensions which we highlighted over a year ago. This would have resulted in claimants being shortchanged AGAIN, had it not been caught by Karl Bromley. To add insult to injury, some claimants were subject to a major data breach when GCC sent out their pension calculation to other claimants. However, since we highlighted the issue progress with correcting the calculations has been unacceptably slow.
Members work their entire lives contributing to pensions in the belief that they will have a fair and reasonable sum to live on in their retirement. It is unacceptable how little care and attention has gone into protecting your pensions.
With the slow progress on pensions and the Council’s attempt to throw out the previous settlement, the Joint Claimant Group is now in discussion about next steps. Although our preferred route was to resolve matters by negotiation with the Council we believe that we have no choice but to proceed to tribunal, questions remain as to whether work can be progressed outside of the court room.
This has not been a constructive or positive start to the negotiations and it seems clear that Glasgow has not learned its lessons from the first settlement process.
I will let you have my thoughts soon. But feel free to send any questions for me to consider.
Not a good day.