Anger over equal pay delays

Female employees are angry with Falkirk Council over the delay in settling equal pay compensation claims
Female employees are angry with Falkirk Council over the delay in settling equal pay compensation claims

Angry female workers with Falkirk Council say bosses are still in no hurry to settle their equal pay claims.

The Equality Act 2010 gave women the right to earn the same wages as men doing the same job and cleared the way for thousands of pounds in compensation to be paid.

But the delay in settling back pay awards has left many on the town hall payroll frustrated.

This week dedicated staff caught up in the saga contacted The Falkirk Herald to complain at the lack of progress reaching agreement on a fair deal.

One employee who has worked in the council’s homecare sector for nearly 20 years and a member of the GMB said: “Someone has to speak out about the cock up that’s being going on here for 10 years.

“We’ve been treated like shuttle cocks by our union and the council and been left frustrated and utterly disgusted. If this had been a male-only dispute it would have been settled to avoid strike action, but because it’s women who are involved it’s turned into a never-ending fiasco.

“While colleagues who hired their own solicitor to get what they were due were paid out years ago, many women, including single parents on low wages with families to support are struggling along and still waiting.

“Some are on benefits and can’t work overtime because of that, so what they are due would be very welcome. It could be argued we’d be even worse off if our union wasn’t involved, but more of us asking why the council and unions are blaming each other for the delays. There have been all these meetings and nothing has been agreed.”

Another worker said: “Everyone who opted to be represented by our union solicitor is still playing the waiting game.

“Negotiations never seem to come to an end with one side blaming the other. The time scale is shocking. The council settled over a year ago with the private solicitors but are digging their heels in with us. Some people I worked with have retired and still waiting for their compensation.”

Yesterday (Wednesday) a council spokesman said: “We are currently in active discussions over the remaining outstanding equal pay claims with the claimants’ representitives.

“Once agreement has been reached we will write to those individuals to explain what this means for them, although we are not yet at that stage.”