£500m Compensation Agreed In Equal Pay Row
7 February 2019, 15:14
Glasgow councillors have approved a deal that will see the local authority pay out a minimum of £500 million to resolve a long-running equal pay dispute.
Compensation will be paid to thousands of female workers from the summer after a plan to fund the package was agreed.
Glasgow City Council will 'sell' some of the city's best loved buildings, including the Royal Concert Hall, to an arm's-length company, and lease them back to raise cash.
The deal had been agreed in principle with workers represented by Unison, GMB, Unite and others, with women claiming they were historically paid £3 an hour less than men in similarly graded roles.
A meeting on Thursday saw councillors give the green light to use the council's property assets to secure loans and meet the cost of settling pay claims amounting up to £548 million.
Council leader Susan Aitken said: "I'm delighted to have won backing for a deal that finally delivers pay justice for thousands of women in our workforce.
"When I became council leader in 2017, I promised I'd bring to an end more than a decade of inaction on equal pay.
"A year ago, we began negotiations and, today, the council formally agreed a plan to pay women at Glasgow City Council what they are owed.
"That starts to put right a wrong that has damaged the council, its workforce and the city for too long."
The council will sell selected buildings to the wholly-owned arm's-length company City Property Glasgow Investments and then lease them back at a commercial rate.
Finance chiefs said the purchases will be funded by long-term loans, with the lease payments meeting the annual cost of the borrowing.
The council stressed that the buildings will remain in the city's ownership and users will not see any difference in how they access them.
Discussions are still ongoing with potential funders, however the council expects the Emirates Arena, Riverside Museum, SEC Armadillo, and Scotstoun Leisure Centre to be among those becoming part of the City Property portfolio.