Friday, 23 February 2018

Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (5)



Here are some more killer facts and figures on Glasgow City Council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR pay scheme.

  • Percentage of women who receive no (zero, nada) NSWP payment - 81.07%
  • Percentage of men who receive no (zero, nada) NSWP payment - 39.71%


  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level A - 4.66%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level  A - 4.18%


  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level B - 7.26%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level B - 30.49%


  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level C - 3.58%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level C - 6.83%


  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP paymentS at Level D - 1.10%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level D - 14.63%


  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP paymentS at Level E - 0.23%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level E - 0.24%


  • Percentage of women who receive NSWP payments at Level F - 2.11%
  • Percentage of men who receive NSWP payments at Level F - 2.92%

So let me see summarise the position as  follows:
  • more than 4 out of 5 women receive no payment at all in respect of NSWP
  • but fewer than 2 out of 5 men receive a 'zero' NSWP payment
  • in only one of the payment levels (Level A) do women outnumber men - by a very small margin
  • Level A is the lowest payment level
  • Level B - women council workers outnumber men by more that 2 to 1 (70% to 30%)
  • Level B - but 4 times as many men receive Level B payments than women 
  • Level D - women council workers outnumber men by more that 2 to 1 (70% to 30%)
  • Level D - but 14 times as many men receive Level D payments than women 
  • Levels C, E and F - women council workers outnumber men by more that 2 to 1 (70% to 30%)
  • Levels C, E and F - yet in each of these payments bands men outnumber women
Again it seems unarguable that the NSWP pay bands have been designed to work to the obvious disadvantage of female dominated jobs - there is no other explanation. 

  


Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (4)


Here are some remarkable facts and figures about Glasgow's WPBR Pay Monster which was supposed to tackle the problem of widespread pay discrimination and unequal pay in the City Council's pre-WPBR pay arrangements.
  • 60.29% of men receive NSWP payments.

  • But only 18.93% of women receive NSWP payments

  • Yet women make up the great majority of Glasgow City Council's workforce - 69.5% - let's just call that 70% for the sake of simplicity. 

  • Quite unbelievably more than three times as many men (60.29%) receive NSWP payments compared to women 18.93%). 

  • But all things being 'equal' you would expect women to receive 70% of NSWP payments - in line with their share of the workforce.

  • 70% of the total number of workers receiving NSWP = 60.29% + 18.93% = 79.22% x 70% = 55.45%.

  • Yet instead of 55.45% of women being paid NSWP only 18.93% of the female workforce receive these payments.

  • Again if all things were 'equal' the council's male workers would receive 30% of all NSWP payments or 60.29% + 18.93% = 79.22% x 30% = 23.77%.  

  • Yet instead of 23.77% of men being paid NSWP an eye watering 60.29% of the male workforce receive these payments.

What does this say about the WPBR other than the fact the at the WPBR Pay Monsters is a complete joke? 

If you ask me, the invented 'rules' of the WPBR have been deliberately designed to favour traditional male jobs which is why the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, judged the pay scheme to be 'unfit for purpose'.

Surely it is indefensible for Glasgow City Council's most senior officials to continue backing this cockamamy scheme.


  

Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (3)











Just in case anyone thought that a Glasgow Road Worker enjoyed some great good fortune at the hands of the City Council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR scheme - which resulted in a pay package worth more than £24,000 a year.

Here are several other traditional male jobs that were previously placed on a lower grade than a Home Carer, but which all leapfrogged over the Home Carers (who had previously been on a higher grade) as a result of the new, 'improved' and allegedly fairer WPBR pay arrangements.


The following examples are based on 2009 figures at the end of the WPBR protection period although the fact of the matter is that the higher pay of traditional male jobs continues to this day, i.e. into 2018.


Gardener 1  - £18,032
Home Carer - £16,300

Pay Difference - £1,732


General Labourer - £18,324
Home Carer          - £16,300

Pay Difference - £2,024



Gravedigger - £21,201
Home Carer - £16,300

Pay Difference - £4,901


Gardener 4  - £21,803
Home Carer - £16,300

Pay Difference - £5,503


Road Worker - £24,208
Home Carer   - £16,300

Pay Difference - £7,908


So what senior officials in Glasgow are inviting employees (and the public) to believe is that a whole raft of traditional, unskilled male dominated jobs which require no qualifications, all of a sudden fared a great deal better under a new 'improved' WPBR pay scheme - than the city's Home Carers.

Always remembering that the WPBR was introduced, supposedly, to address the problem of 'unequal pay' and the widespread pay discrimination in Glasgow City Council's pre-WPBR pay structures. 

Does your head button up the back, Glasgow? 


Does the council workforce have any confidence in the senior officials responsible for overseeing the WPBR process?

I suspect the answer to both of these questions is a resounding 'NO', but tune in again soon for - Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (4)

  


Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (2)


The table above shows the pay differences between a Home Carer (MW5) and a Road Worker (MW4) - both before and after the Glasgow City Council's infamous Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) in 2007.

Now Home Carer on grade MW5, was on a higher grade on the male Road Worker on MW4  and that ought to have meant that the Home Carer was paid more than her male colleague - because the council's grading system awarded the Road Worker a lower grade.

However the pay reality (which had existed for years remember) was very different and the relative earnings of the two jobs was actually as follows:

Pre-WPBR

Road Worker (MW4) - £24,901.78
Home Carer (MW5)  -  £12,438.00

Pay Difference -  £12,463.78


Post-WPBR

Road Worker (MW4) - £23,308.16
Home Carer (MW5)  - £16,646.49

Pay Difference - £6,661.67

So the pay difference narrowed after the introduction of the WPBR, but the Road Worker did much better out of the WPBR with all of its complicated and non-transparent 'rules' such as the NSWP which were designed to give a better outcome to traditional male jobs.

For a good example, look no further than the NSWP 37 hour 'rule' which pays £1,000 a year but only to jobs which are contracted to work 37 hours or more every week. 

98% of council employees who are not contracted to work 37 hours or more every week - are women, of course.

The big question is - "How did a WPBR scheme which was supposed to tackle the widespread problem of 'unequal pay' and big, hidden bonuses - end up favouring Glasgow's City Council's traditional male jobs?"

Because after all has been said and done, Glasgow's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR rewards a Road Worker with almost £7,000 a year more than a Home Carer.   

Not just that, of course, because back in 2005 senior City Council officials rushed in a compensation scheme which was capped at a total of just £9,000 when the real pay difference between a Home Carer and a Road Worker stood at £12,463.78 a year.

The council compensation scheme took no account of hours worked (i.e. overtime) and left many groups of workers out - even though they had perfectly valid claims.

Lots more to follow - so tune in again soon for 'Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (3)'.

  

Why Glasgow's WPBR Sucks (1)


A4ES held a special briefing meeting on equal pay in Glasgow on Friday 9 February 2018.

A group of claimants were present, along with representatives from Unison and GMB (the other claimant organisations) - Glasgow's constituency MSPs and MPs were all invited to attend along with to 'List' MSPs.  

The briefing kicked off with Stefan Cross explaining the nature of the discriminatory pay arrangements which existed across Glasgow back in 2005 

At that time 133 traditional male (comparator) jobs in Glasgow City Council enjoyed access to bonus schemes which boosted their basic pay by 50% or more.

So a male worker being paid £6.00 an hour was reality being paid £9.00, £10.00 or even £11.00 an hour depending on the particular job in question. 

The number of female dominated (claimant) jobs which enjoyed access to bonus schemes back in 2005 was - 0, zero, nada, none.


In other words, traditional male jobs which demanded a great deal less responsibility, skill and/or qualifications than comparable female jobs - were nonetheless being paid thousands of pounds a year more.

The Scottish council employers, including Glasgow, City Council had pledged to deal with this scandal of 'unequal pay' as far back as 1999, but six years later nothing had changed.

More to follow in the days ahead.

So watch this space because my next post will explain that pay differences between male and female jobs are still enormous under Glasgow's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR.

  

Who Runs Glasgow City Council?



While senior officials in Glasgow City Council continue to defend and hide behind their WPBR Pay Monster, councillors from the Green Party appear to have taken a principled stand.

Here's the response one Glasgow claimant received from a Green Party councillor, Kim Long.

Dear Amanda,

Thanks for your email.

As I said in my previous response, the Green Cllrs group do not have faith in the current WPBR scheme used by Glasgow since 2006. 


We value our staff and we as Greens will work towards a whole new pay system that is transparent, consistent and fair.

Many thanks,


Kim


Now this sounds encouraging to me so I think I'll drop Kim Long a friendly note with  an offer to brief the Green Councillors group, in a similar fashion to the briefing that was held for Glasgow's MSPs and MPs recently.

I've already put this suggestion to Councillor Robert Connelly and his colleagues, but I have not heard anything back from the SNP Group or the Labour Group whose Scottish leader, Richard Leonard, recently backed the call for an apology to be made to Glasgow's equal pay claimants.

If you ask me, the whole issue boils down to: Who runs Glasgow City Council - the elected politicians or its highly paid officials? 

After 12 years of the officials running the show over equal paying the WPBR, I think it's high time this question was answered.

  

Glasgow's 'Unfit For Purpose' WPBR

"Glasgow City Council accepts with the unanimous judgment of the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, that its Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) is 'unfit for purpose'.

"Council therefore instructs senior officials to replace the WPBR scheme, as a matter of urgency, to bring to an end discriminatory practices which treat its low paid women workers as second class citizens.

"Council further instructs senior officials to draw up plans for using the Gauge job evaluation scheme (JES) as a replacement for the WPBR.

"Council notes that the Gauge JES was originally recommended for use by the Scottish council employers via COSLA and the national trade unions (GMB, Unison and Unite), as part of the landmark 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement."  



Glasgow's 'Unfit For Purpose' WPBR (15/02/18)



I have just sent the following email to all elected councillors in Glasgow City Council.

I plan to raise the issue directly with my own local councillor, MSP and MP - and hope that lots of readers and equal pay claimants will do the same.

If anyone is unsure of the name of their local councillor, you can find this out and how to contact them via the following link: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17565

I have also included the names and email address of the Glasgow MSPs and MPs who were invited to the recent A4ES briefing on equal pay.

Please keep me posted on any developments, good or bad, as I will share the news and any messages of support on the blog site.

  

Dear Councillor

Glasgow's WPBR Pay Scheme

I have drafted the following motion to focus attention on Glasgow City Council's WPBR pay scheme which, as you know, has been judged to be 'unfit for purpose' by a unanimous decision of the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court.

If Glasgow City Council is to build credible pay arrangements for the future, it stands to reason that the WPBR must be replaced by a job evaluation scheme (JES) which commands the confidence of the council's largely female workforce, who have effectively been treated as second class citizens by the WPBR for the past 10 years. 

As things stand, the WPBR is riddled with discriminatory pay practices from top to bottom.

For example, the WPBR has a bizarre and completely invented 'rule' which awards a significant  NSWP payment worth £1,000 our annum only to employees contracted to work a minimum of 37 hours a week. The vast majority of GCC employees contracted to work fewer that 37 hours a week are, of course, women. 

If you ask me, it should not have taken a 10 year battle and Scotland's highest civil court to get this point across, especially as no other work related benefits - holiday pay, sick pay, maternity leave or paternity leave - operate in this discriminatory way. 

Astonishingly, the City Council's senior officials are unable (or unwilling) to explain how the WPBR was commissioned back in 2005/06/07 or how much this ill-judged project cost the public purse.

I would be delighted to discuss the terms of the motion further with individual councillors and/or I can arrange to provide party groups with a briefing on the powerful case for replacing the WPBR as a matter of urgency. 

If you would like to take up this offer, please contact me at: markirvine@compuserve.com

Kind regards



Mark Irvine

Glasgow's 'Unfit For Purpose' WPBR

"Glasgow City Council accepts with the unanimous judgment of the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, that its Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) is 'unfit for purpose'.

"Council therefore instructs senior officials to replace the WPBR scheme, as a matter of urgency, to bring to an end discriminatory practices which treat its low paid women workers as second class citizens.

"Council further instructs senior officials to draw up plans for using the Gauge job evaluation scheme (JES) as a replacement for the WPBR.

"Council notes that the Gauge JES was originally recommended for use by the Scottish council employers via COSLA and the national trade unions (GMB, Unison and Unite), as part of the landmark 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement."  

  

Glasgow - The Next Big Step (12/02/18)

Glasgow's 'Unfit For Purpose' WPBR.

"Glasgow City Council accepts with the unanimous judgment of the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, that its Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) is 'unfit for purpose'.

"Council therefore instructs senior officials to replace the WPBR scheme, as a matter of urgency, to bring to an end discriminatory practices which treat its low paid women workers as second class citizens.

"Council further instructs senior officials to draw up plans for using the Gauge job evaluation scheme (JES) as a replacement for the WPBR.

"Council notes that the Gauge JES was originally recommended for use by the Scottish council employers via COSLA and the national trade unions (GMB, Unison and Unite), as part of the landmark 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement."  

The next big step in the fight for equal pay in Glasgow is for the city to face up to the terrible mess that senior council officials have made of equal pay.

Now I've neem a very senior official myself, in my times, for example as Unison's Head of Local Government and the unions' chief negotiator with COSLA, the Scottish employers' umbrella organisation.

I realise that this is not easy for the people concerned because it requires them to eat a large serving of 'humble pie'.

But the evidence is now overwhelming that Glasgow City Council bought a 'pig-in-a-poke' when its senior officials commissioned the WPBR which has since been judged to be 'unfit for purpose' by the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court.

So my draft motion about replacing the WPBR is an idea whose time has come and I am going to circulate this to all local Glasgow councillors as well as the city's MSPs and MPs.

In my view, it's time the city's elected representatives and appointed officials were forced to discuss and debate these issues publicly instead of stitching things up behind closed doors which is what has been what's happening for years.

Claimants in Glasgow can help by writing directly to their local councillors, MSPs and MPs because as we have been witnessing in recent weeks - People Power really works.

In the meantime here is a list of email addresses for the Glasgow MSPs and MPs who were invited to a recent briefing on equal pay - only three turned up on the day (those marked with an asterisk).

Not one of Glasgow's eight constituency MSPs could find the time to come along which is rather odd, if you ask me.

I will let readers know via the blog site when I have circulated the draft motion to Glasgow councillors, MSPs and MPs.

Equal pay claimants may then wish to drop their own local representatives an email - to ask where they stand on this vitally important issue.

  


'Got to Go', Glasgow! (10/02/18)



Glasgow City Council's WPBR pay scheme has 'got to go' which is the key message behind this motion I've drafted for discussion and debate with local councillors and other Glasgow politicians.

Now the WPBR has already been characterised as 'unfit for purpose' by the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, and it's easy to see how three senior judges came to their unanimous decision because the scheme:
  • the NSWP 37 hour 'rule' discriminates against the council's largely female workforce
  • the City Council's overtime working arrangements blatantly favour traditional male dominated jobs
  • Home Carers, for example, are issued with separate 'plain time' contracts for additional hours worked 
  • the city council's Employee Development Commitment was not made available to any of the female dominated claimant jobs
In essence, the WPBR simply repackages the pay discrimination inherent in the city council's previous pay structures and the end result that former bonus earning, male dominated jobs retain their place in the pay 'pecking order'. 

Previous pay differentials have been disguised and camouflaged, but the old order is still in place.

Meanwhile, senior council officials say they cannot explain the costs of the WPBR or the mysterious circumstances surrounding the procurement of the scheme by an external consultant - Hays HR Consulting and a consultant named Steve Watson.

So spread the word far and wide - no 'ifs', 'buts' or 'maybes' the unfit for purpose WPBR has got to go.

Glasgow's 'Unfit For Purpose' WPBR.

"Glasgow City Council accepts with the unanimous judgment of the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, that its Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) is 'unfit for purpose'.

"Council therefore instructs senior officials to replace the WPBR scheme, as a matter of urgency, to bring to an end discriminatory practices which treat its low paid women workers as second class citizens.

"Council further instructs senior officials to draw up plans for using the Gauge job evaluation scheme (JES) as a replacement for the WPBR.

"Council notes that the Gauge JES was originally recommended for use by the Scottish council employers via COSLA and the national trade unions (GMB, Unison and Unite), as part of the landmark 1999 Single Status (Equal Pay) Agreement."  

  

Glasgow - Equal Pay Update (08/02/18)


Image result for circumlocution office + images


Charles Dickens wrote about the Circumlocution Office in his famous book 'Little Dorrit' way back in the 1850s, but the same bureaucratic mentality seems to hold sway in the minds of senior officials in Glasgow City Council who appear to be doing their level best to frustrate and delay meaningful negotiations to end the council's long-running equal pay dispute. 

The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office. If another Gunpowder Plot had been discovered half an hour before the lighting of the match, nobody would have been justified in saving the parliament until there had been half a score of boards, half a bushel of minutes, several sacks of official memoranda, and a family-vault full of ungrammatical correspondence, on the part of the Circumlocution Office.

This glorious establishment had been early in the field, when the one sublime principle involving the difficult art of governing a country, was first distinctly revealed to statesmen. It had been foremost to study that bright revelation and to carry its shining influence through the whole of the official proceedings. Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving — HOW NOT TO DO IT.



Now the views of the Council Leader Susan Aitken couldn't be clearer, but the behaviour of senior officials stands in stark contrast as they fight to hold onto a  a completely discredited WPBR pay scheme which has been characterised by the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, as 'unfit for purpose'.

So it seems to me that the same officials who brought in the WPBR, under mysterious and unexplained circumstances, are now trying to circumvent the will of the council's leadership.

And that can't be allowed to happen because these bureaucrats are acting as both judge and jury in their own cause.

  


Susan Slates the Naysayers (02/02/18)


Glasgow City Council's leader Susan Aitken responds to the naysayers and doom-mongers on Twitter - and sets out her stall on the challenges facing the council over equal pay.

Good for her, I say.

What a difference from the negative, cheeseparing attitude of previous Labour council leaders who proclaimed their great support for equal pay while presiding over pay arrangements which blatantly favoured traditional male jobs.  

And while I'm on my high horse aren't people disgusted at the former senior official who has been telling The Times that equal pay represents a significant threat to council jobs and services! 

If 'Mr Anonymous' would like to step out of the shadows, I'd be happy to debate the issues with him publicly including the advice he gave to the Labour council leader, Stephen Purcell, in 2005 over the introduction of the now widely discredited Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR).



A short thread on equal pay. Lots of inaccurate claims being made, so a few points of fact follow.

The £500m bill figure that is being widely quoted is pure speculation at this stage. The final settlement will be established through negotiations - that’s what they’re for - and no one yet knows what the figure will be.

The final bill for the Council will probably be substantial - we’re prepared for that. But the City Government does not believe it has to be ‘catastrophic’ or that we will have to have a fire sale of assets or make substantial cuts or job losses.

Funding any settlement will be extremely challenging but other local authorities have done it, without making huge cuts. We will explore all the financial options available to us and minimise the impact on jobs and services.

I have consistently said this issue is of Glasgow City Council’s making and it is ours to solve. We will NOT and have not asked for a loan or a bailout from either the Scottish or UK govts. We will seek advice and support to find innovative funding solutions.

The bottom line is that the SNP City Government believes that gender inequality and discrimination are not a price worth paying to spare difficulty and expense.

Resolving equal pay in Glasgow is about equality, fairness and good governance. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we’ll get there.