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Tue 15 November 2011

UNISON welcomes Court of Session equal pay judgement

UNISON today welcomed a Court of Session judgement in favour of female UNISON members equal pay claims against Edinburgh City Council.

The Council had argued that, simply because they had different workplaces, women who worked in schools such as class room assistants, librarians or nursery nurses could not claim that they should be paid equally with male refuse collectors, road workers or gardeners.

Three senior judges have now decided that the women will be allowed to argue equal pay claims comparing themselves with male workers employed in different workplaces by the Council. The equal pay claims themselves will now be decided by Employment Tribunals.

A UNISON spokesperson said:
"This judgement is welcome. It widens the range of arguments we can use as we work to break down the barriers preventing women gaining equal treatment in the workplace."

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Equal pay claims have been brought against most local authorities in the UK on the basis that historic productivity bonuses had, over time, caused pay inequality between men and women. Therefore, to bring a claim a woman claimant must first identify a male worker who has been evaluated at the same grade but is paid more. North v Dumfries and Galloway Council, an earlier case on the same issue, is also being fought by UNISON and is due to be heard in the Supreme Court next year.

2. UNISON has pursued over 12,000 equal pay cases for members in Scotland over the last 6 years.

For Further Information
Contact: Suzanne Craig , Legal Officer UNISON Scotland 0141 342 2848

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