Thousands of female employees have won their equal pay case against Glasgow City Council.
The Court of Session ruled that the council had discriminated against low-paid female workers.
The council’s previous salary systems meant that women were excluded from bonuses for many years, while payment protections upheld male colleagues’ earnings.
Around 6,000 women will be awarded compensation and the council is now facing payouts that could total tens of millions of pounds.
Speaking about the court’s decision, Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council said, “This is a complex legal ruling.”
“However, it is now clear that the award of pay protection was done in a way which discriminated against some of our female workers at that time.”
“The right thing to do now is for the council to have open discussions with those workers and their representatives about how we give effect to this ruling.”
“I hope there will be goodwill on both sides during those discussions.”
In a statement released, the council said, “The council implemented a new pay and benefits structure, designed to ensure equal pay more than ten years ago.”
“The matter before the court on this occasion related to the initial implementation of that scheme – and, more specifically, the decision to offer a three year period of payment protection as a ‘soft landing’ for members of the workforce facing a drop in earnings.”
GMB Scotland Secretary, Gary Smith said, “After years of legal wrangling by Glasgow City Council, this morning’s judgement paves the way for thousands of low-paid women to claim justice.”
“Times have been tough for these women who have had to endure this discrimination against a decade of real terms wage cuts across Scottish local government as a result of stifling austerity.”
“The vast majority of them are our carers, caterers and cleaners, employed on the bottom rungs of the local government pay spine yet making some of the biggest contributions to the running of our local services.”
“The new council leadership has been elected on a manifesto promise to resolve all outstanding equal pay claims and it goes without saying that GMB Scotland fully expects this to be honoured as swiftly as possible.”