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Thousands of workers receive offers after equal pay row

Some Glasgow City Council workers are set to bank more than £100,000 after a dispute was settled.

Thousands of current and former council workers have started to receive offers to settle equal pay claims.

Staff such as carers, cleaners and caterers last year reached an agreement with Glasgow City Council following a long-running dispute.

In October, more than 8000 members of unions GMB, Unison, Unite and Action 4 Equality took strike action in a bid to force the local authority to settle claims.

They have now received written offers - with some set to bank more than £100,000.

Many of the workers - predominantly women - gathered in the city's George Square on Friday to open their letters.

Workers celebrate their offers in George Square.
Workers celebrate their offers in George Square. STV

Home carer Angela McKee said: "I'm delighted. Really delighted. I'm going to do cartwheels soon."

Her colleague Shona Thomson said: "It's quite surreal actually - but the money is ours. It's ours now to choose what we want to do with it.

"All these women just came together and didn't realise the strength they had. We just came and we fought and we conquered."

However, the unions warned that many workers were still not being paid equally and warned more work was required to bridge the pay gap.

A spokesperson for the joint claimant group said: "This should be a moment of pride for Glasgow's equal pay women because it's recognition that they were right to battle as they did and they were right to take on their employer for years of discrimination.

'It's quite surreal actually - but the money is ours. It's ours now to choose what we want to do with it.'
Shona Thomson, carer

"It's also a poignant moment because there are women who started this journey and are no longer with us; they were our friends and colleagues and those individuals and their families are very much in thoughts of everyone today.

"We also need to be pragmatic about these settlements. We have a duty of care to our claimants, many of whom will receive life-changing sums of money including a small number who will receive over £100,000, and it's our obligation to ensure they protected from the possibility of exploitation.

"Ultimately, this is the culmination of a decade long battle for equal pay but it is not the end point in the journey for justice that only happens when the council implements a new job evaluation system that ensures every employee is paid and treated equally."

A council spokesman said: "Agreeing to scrap the current pay and grading system was one of the first things the council did during negotiations to settle these equal pay cases - and our trades union colleagues are now heavily involved in its replacement.

"That takes time, however, and all parties agreed this approach during negotiations."

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