Anger over delay to equal pay settlement

Some council staff who have won the right to back pay in an equal pay claim are frustrated that they have yet to see the cash.

Hundreds of employees at East Dunbartonshire Council challenged their salary terms when it was revealed other people doing similar jobs for the same employer were paid more.

One of the employees, who asked not to be identified, appealed to the Herald for help in moving their case forward.

The worker said: ‘‘In 2005 we initiated Equal Pay Claims against the council and to date we are still awaiting settlement. Our lawyer has been in long standing talks with the council and their website was updated on April 15, 2015, stating that despite reaching an agreement in principle, the lawyer hasn’t received any offers. They have chased up the offers repeatedly and they have recently been informed that due to lack of resources at the council, the council require a further three months.

‘‘This is proving a long frustrating battle with the Council and during this time we know that they borrowed £2.9 million to settle but apparently didn’t take up the offer of the loan, then we were told that money had been set aside to settle.

‘‘This is money that we as employees are entitled to but are struggling to get this repaid to us.’’

Ian Black, director of finance and shared services, said: ‘‘East Dunbartonshire Council is one of a number of local authorities that is in the process of settling equal pay claims. A number of our cases have already been settled where we have reached agreement with the parties involved.

‘‘There are currently 465 claims in relation to EDC which are being considered through the Employment Tribunal system.

‘‘This is a complex, legal process and it is not possible to specify when claims will be settled since this will be dependent upon the completion of successful negotiations between all parties where that is appropriate.

‘‘However, we continue to actively progress communications with relevant parties with a view to resolving any valid claim as quickly as the process allows.’’

Equal pay claims were initiated across the country over claims the way seniority for posts was evaluated. Many councils have been forced to put aside millions of pounds.