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Date: Mon 22 May 2006

UNISON rejects ‘inadequate' council equal pay offer

UNISON, the union that represents Dumfries and Galloway Council staff, today urged its members to reject the offer of compensation for past discrimination being made by the council to some sections of staff.

The union says that the offer ignores many members of staff who may have a claim, only deals with bonus payments yet asks staff to sign away their right to make future claims on basic pay or other payments, and fails to address the full value of potential equal pay claims.

Marion Stewart UNISON's Branch Secretary for Dumfries and Galloway said "Despite constant reminders by UNISON that there are more than catering, cleaning and home care staff who have been discriminated against in the past, the council has chosen to ignore anyone other than those staff. When you add to this major omission the fact that the value of the offer is poor in comparison to the likely entitlement, and it is accompanied by a rider asking staff to sign away their employment rights, we cannot do anything other than let members know that they are worth more.”

UNISON is also pointing out that - until job evaluation is completed - the full extent of the pay discrimination that has been suffered by many women is impossible to quantify. The union has constantly asked for the result of this evaluation, but the information is still being withheld.

Marion said "The council has failed to address this major issue in a serious way. UNISON has always wanted to come to a negotiated agreement that addresses all the important aspects to counter unequal pay. To have the council try to pull them all apart again runs contrary to good practice, contrary to fair play and contrary to the aims of the agreement that unions and CoSLA have come to implement equal Pay and single status.”


For Further Information Please Contact: Marion Stewart (UNISON D&G Branch Sec) 01387 257 393(o) 07742 555 529(m) Joe Lynch (Regional Organiser) 0845 355 0845(o) 07958 121 063(m)