Socialist Worker

Glasgow workers get ready for strikes over equal pay

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2621

Workers fighting for equal pay

Workers fighting for equal pay (Pic: Unison Glasgow City/Twitter)


Equal pay campaigners in Glasgow are getting ready to deliver a huge mandate for action when their strike ballot closes in the next week.

Workers in education and Cordia Services—who provide care, cleaning and catering—are voting on whether to strike against Glasgow City Council (GCC), run by the Scottish Nationalist Party.

If they vote for action, some 7,200 workers could strike together and shut down many local services.

They are fighting GCC to rectify an unfair pay structure that saw women workers paid less than men. Council negotiators walked away from talks in August, so workers are preparing to take action.

The Unison union has some 2,700 members in education, and 2,000 employed by Cordia—their ballot finishes on Tuesday of next week.

And the GMB union’s 2,500 members in Cordia will finish voting this Thursday.

A huge vote for strikes could bring the bosses back to the negotiating table and finish off their rotten pay system for good.

nEqual pay demo, 12.30pm, Thu 13 September, Glasgow City Chambers, G2 1DU


Vote for action gets results in East Dunbartonshire

A planned strike in East Dunbartonshire has been called off after council bosses backed off from attacks.

Members of the Unison and Unite unions voted to walk out after negotiations broke down over redundancy packages.

Four days of strikes in June had already won victories over pay, holiday and terms and conditions.

They have been working to rule ever since.

The Lib Dem and Tory controlled council wanted to steal three days’ annual leave from workers.

They also wanted to attack unsocial working and overtime rates, and drastically cut voluntary redundancy packages.

Unions are set to ballot their members with a recommendation to accept the new deal—which adds a better redundancy package to the terms already won.

The Unison branch has increased its membership by 40 percent during the dispute.

Simon Macfarlane is regional organiser for Unison. He said, “This is a tremendous position to be in given where we were last November when the council unilaterally took a decision to reduce our members’ pay and conditions.”

Unison said the deal was “the best that can be achieved through negotiations”.

Strikes could have won more.


Scottish pay fight continues

The battle over low pay in Scottish local government continues.

The Unison union announced last week that it is recommending rejecting the bosses’ pay offer.

It sits alongside the Unite and GMB unions in the Scottish Joint Council negotiating team.

GMB members voted to reject the deal by 92 percent.

The association of Scottish councils has offered workers a 3 percent rise for workers earning up to £36,500, and 2 percent for those earning up to £80,000.

Workers earning over £80,000 will get a flat increase of £1,600.

Carol Ball, vice chair of Unison local government committee said the offer “does very little for the lowest paid workers like care workers and support for learning assistants”.


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