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UNISON wins Edinburgh equal pay deal

UNISON has won an equal pay deal for thousands of council staff in Edinburgh. The union today agreed a settlement with the City of Edinburgh Council after a long-running battle to secure equal pay claims by up to three thousand workers.

Note for members with claims: As is the nature of legal settlements, we cannot give details publicly and each settlement for each individual will be different based on the difference between the male comparator, the length of time and several other factors. This is a compensation offer that will be put to you by Thompsons and the Council. The branch does not have details of this and any queries need to go to Thompsons Solicitors. Any important updates will be on the website at http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/condits/equalpay1.html

John Stevenson, President of Edinburgh UNISON branch said:
“ We welcome the settlement of these long standing equal pay claims – and we are delighted that many of our members will soon start receiving their compensation. Equal pay for work of equal value is an important principle – but we aim to ensure it happens in practice too.”

The majority of equal pay claims brought by UNISON in Edinburgh were on behalf of women administrative and school-based staff, who argued that their work was of equal value to male manual workers in receipt of bonus payments. The Court of Session agreed with that case and the council has withdrawn an appeal to the Supreme Court as part of the settlement with UNISON.

The deal covers the period from up to five years before the date of claim.

A council spokesperson described the settlement as “an excellent outcome for these employees” and said it reflected a commitment to partnership working from all sides.

Council Leader Andrew Burns said the ruling coalition group was “absolutely delighted” that the equal pay claims had been resolved before the end of the year.

ENDS

Notes for editors

1. Joint statement on Equal Pay settlement by UNISON and City of Edinburgh Council
Friday 26 October 2012

The City of Edinburgh Council and the trade union UNISON, are pleased to announce that terms have been agreed to settle the outstanding equal pay claims of former APT& C employees lodged by UNISON on behalf of their members.

UNISON have confirmed that these terms will be recommended to their members and that this will bring this long-running dispute to an end.

The agreed settlement terms will take a number of months to implement fully and both the Council and UNISON are calling upon those affected to remain patient whilst arrangements are put in place. Payments will commence in the next couple of weeks and will be staggered over the coming three months.

A council spokesperson said: “This is an excellent outcome for these employees and reflects a commitment from Councillors, Officers and trade union representatives to partnership working.”

Leader of the Council, Andrew Burns, said “the Capital Coalition had a firm aim to resolve these claims before the end of the year and we are absolutely delighted to report that this has been achieved.”

John Stevenson, President of City of Edinburgh UNISON branch said: “We welcome the settlement of these long standing equal pay claims – and we are delighted that many of our members will soon start receiving their compensation.”

2. Background to the Edinburgh equal pay claims (UNISON Scotland)

The equal pay claims were brought mainly by administrative staff and school-based staff, who were claiming that their work was of equal value to male manual workers who received a bonus.

The Council claimed that the female employees could not make this comparison so the claims were invalid. The UNISON claimants won the point at the Employment Tribunal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Session.

The Council had appealed to the Supreme Court, but that appeal will now be withdrawn as part of the settlement agreement.

The settlement will cover the period from up to 5 years before the date of claim.