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Equal Pay

Letter to members who may receive 'equal pay' offers

24 January 2006


Dear Colleague


I write to advise you the Council have decided to withdraw from discussions with the unions on the issue of Equal Pay and will now be making financial offers to certain groups of women employees in the coming weeks.

They have to date not identified which occupational groups would be involved in this.

Any offer will be based on a formula created by CoSLA, the employers' organisation, but we would stress this approach has been rejected by all the unions involved in the national negotiations.

  • The offer only applies to selective groups of employees
  • It does not necessarily recompense individuals for the full amount which may be due on the basis of claiming 5 years lost monies
  • It does not put in place equal pay (i.e. you will be given an ex-gratia payment but the base wage will not be brought up to match those who get bonus )
  • As the base wage rate will not shift those members involved in any settlement will lose out on potential protection rights arising from the imminent Job Evaluation scheme (i.e. the new scheme will consider posts based on current pay rather than an adjusted level which would recognise the right to be paid an amount equal to others who are in receipt of bonus payments.
  • If a member accepts the Council's offer they will be required to sign a legal document which states any financial payment is in full and final settlement and will have no rights to pursue the issue further.

Offers will be made to individuals with varying amounts dependant on years of service, contractual hours of work and current level of pay.

It is unclear whether these payments will be subject to Tax, National Insurance and Superannuation deductions. Those deductions would, however, certainly be applied if we were to pursue the full amount due over five years.

It must also be stressed to all members that if we have to pursue claims through an Employment Tribunal we cannot guarantee success although we are of the opinion there are strengths in the cases we are considering at this time. We would also emphasise because there are thousands of cases going forward it will be some considerable time before we could anticipate resolving all the claims.

Members must also recognise that if

  • they retired more than six months ago
  • or more than six months ago transferred to a post which is not the subject of an Equal Pay claim

they are excluded from pursuing compensation due to the terms of Equal Pay legislation. This is a fact of law and we cannot challenge it.

If however you transfer to a post which is the subject of an Equal Pay claim we can pursue the matter but could only seek settlement for your period of service in that job.

Ultimately the decision to accept any financial offer lies with the individual but members should recognise the unions nationally have rejected the basis of the offer and your branch has similarly refused to support its application.

Any member refusing the offer is assured we will give full support to them as and when we identify a suitable comparator post.

Yours sincerely

John Stevenson
Branch Secretary







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