THOUSANDS of workers are to be balloted for strike action in the long-running dispute with Glasgow City Council over equal pay.

Some 9000 Unison members alongside a further 5000 from the GMB and Unite are to take part in a vote that could see them walk out.

But a spokesperson for the council said the move was "incredibly disappointing", adding that the local authority had believed the ongoing talks to be "productive".

Unions claim that "nothing has changed" since the city's equal pay dispute reached a head in October 2018 when 8000 women took to the streets to demand fair treatment.

Following that action, the council, unions and legal representatives agreed a compensation deal as interim payments were handed out.

Glasgow City Council has projected that the new pay and grading scheme to address gender pay inequality will not be in place until at least 2024.

It says the delay is due to covid and had been agreed with unions.

Unions claim that the local authority also wants to "rip up" the 2019 pay deal and is refusing to make further interim payments.

Glasgow Times:

Kath Stirling, Unison branch chairwoman, said: "Thousands of workers, overwhelmingly women, were paid out in 2019 because their pay was unequal - nothing has changed since then, it’s still unequal.

"The same jobs in the same unequal pay scheme.

"Yet the council is now refusing to pay up and trying to exclude many jobs.

"The council’s actions are a cynical ploy to divide trade unionists.

"The trade unions are demanding that the council apply the 2019 arrangements to those claimants who have never received anything – so-called “new claims” - and also use the 2019 arrangements to calculate a new round of interim payments for all eligible workers because of the delay in implementing the new pay and grading system.

"The fight for pay equality in Glasgow is far from over."

Unison further claims that jobs previously included in equal pay claims are no longer covered, threatening payments to those in social care, early years nurseries and clerical and admin jobs.

Ballot papers will now go out to workers from January 31 and the three unions are holding a protest outside Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “The introduction of the new pay and grading scheme has been delayed by covid.

"That process requires hundreds of face-to-face interviews, which unions themselves felt should not go ahead during the pandemic.

“On the other issues, the terms of this ballot simply do not reflect what we had, until today, believed were constructive, ongoing and confidential negotiations.

“We will contact the unions in the morning.

"However, it is incredibly disappointing that they have chosen to do this while negotiations are ongoing.”