I attended an excellent meeting of Glasgow Home Carers in Govanhill last Friday to discuss the ongoing campaign to hold Glasgow City Council to account over equal pay.
All of the usual topics were covered including:
- the importance of claimants contacting their MSPs and MPs for support
- the use of freedom of information (FoI) requests to uncover the City Council's post-WPBR pay arrangements
- the forthcoming appeal hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 25 to 27 April and 2 to 5 May 2017
- the level of bonus payments in male dominated jobs and the guarantee given by the City Council that these earnings would be maintained (in response to a strike threat by the trade unions)
The pay information has been provided to me in response to an FoI request and shows the earnings of the Gravedigger as £22,845.40 (excluding overtime) in 2007 - £11,986 in basic salary and £10,859.40 in 'additional payments' the bulk of which I suspect had to be earned via bonus payments.
Now take nothing away from the council Gravedigger because they work hard and do an essential jobs like lots of other council staff, but how can it be that Home Carers (on the much higher grade of MW5) are not worth at least the same pay?
Shift working can't account for the pay difference because Home Carers in Glasgow typically work a 'split shift' which means they work for 5 hours (8am to 1pm) and have an unpaid break for three hours before returning to complete another 5 hour shift later in the day (4pm to 10pm).
Split shift working is the most onerous of all shift stems if you ask me, because unlike other workers the whole day revolves around your job and people are not really done with their work until late in the evening.
Yet for this huge inconvenience to their lives Home Carers are worth thousands of pounds less than a council Gravedigger which sounds very unfair to me.
Another meeting in Govanhill is planned for next Monday and some of the local politicians will be present which is good news if you ask me, because so far I haven't witnessed too many Glasgow MSPs and MPs speaking out in support of the fight for equal pay with the Labour-led City Council.