Here's an extract from Scotland's 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement dealing with the treatment of bonus payments.
"21. It is important to emphasise that bonus schemes may not in themselves be discriminatory provided they meet real business objectives and access is available to all. Councils should therefore be free to introduce council-wide reward strategies where this is considered desirable (see Part 4) and following the full involvement of the trade unions."
Now the key words and phrases in this new National Agreement were:
- provided they meet real business objectives - i.e. are not phoney
- provided access is available to all - i.e. are not restricted to male jobs
- council-wide reward strategies - i.e. women jobs cannot be left out or excluded
Yet despite the clear and unequivocal words in this section North Lanarkshire seems to have deliberately gone against the provisions of the National Agreement by incorporating bonus payments into the basic salaries of only traditional male council jobs - bonuses which had nothing to do with productivity, of course.
In other words, the old bonuses were discriminatory and this was the reason for a 1st wave settlement of equal pay claims - because the Council could not defend making payments to male-only jobs
So, effectively, all North Lanarkshire Council did back in 2005/06 was to carry forward these discriminatory practices into its new pay arrangements which treated male jobs more favourably than their female colleagues.