THERE has been a ‘mythology’ around Labour’s role in the equal pay scandal at Glasgow City Council which is costing the council hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation, according to the Labour Group leader, Malcolm Cunning.

He said that is was a “false characterization” that Labour created the problem and he said all parties approved the system and all parties agreed to end the court battles.

Speaking at a Glasgow Times election husting Mr Cunning said all parties were in agreement at the time.

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Asked if Labour “created the problem” and “why did Labour not want to give the women workers a fair deal” he disagreed.

Malcolm Cunning, said: “I think that’s a false characterisation of what happened and I do think it’s unfortunate to some extend there’s a mythology grown up around this.

Glasgow Times:

“There was a genuine attempt made in 2007/2007 to address what was acknowledges as an equal pay issue in the pay and grading system of Glasgow and acknowledged there were similar problems in many other local authorities in Scotland and the UK.

“And a new pay and grading system as instituted in 2006/2007 at the unanimous agreement of the then Glasgow City Council.”

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He said the SNP, Tories and even Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity Party voted for the new system, that eventually led to the equal pay scandal.

The labour Group leader, who was not a councillor at the time, added the council was initially successful in the courts.

He said: “We then entered a very tortuous period of time, where quite rightly it has transpired various trade union organisations and Action for Equality took up the case for women to say perhaps the new pay and grading system had not successfully agreed that process.

“And the legal process was hugely complicated by the fact that actually the council won the first two cases on the basis of it was a legitimate scheme, that eventually went all the way to the inner house of the Court of Session, at which stage a decision was made by them that basically punted it back and at that stage unanimously every single political party on Glasgow City Council agreed that the best way forward was to reach a negotiated settlement rather than have potentially another 10, 15 years of legal arguments and that was exactly the right thing to do.”

He also said there is no replacement pay and grading scheme yet and that it would be another four years before it is ready.

He said: “I’m pleased to see that the threat of strike action maybe concentrated some minds but we’ve now got a guarantee of the second tranche of compensation that will take the mainly women workers affected up to I understand March this year.”

Susan Aitken SNP group leader and council leader who campaigned in 2017 to end the court cases and give the women affair deal said she disagreed with her rival’s account of events past and present.

Glasgow Times:

She said: “Susan Aitken : “The new pay and grading system will be in place by next year. The vast majority of the work has been done on it. We are essentially working along with the Trade Unions, working towards the same outcome.

“which is to get that new pay and grading system in place and to deliver the final phase of compensation for the women. Which will take them right up to the point where the new pay and grading system is introduced.

“We are also working to raise the money for that.

“I don’t want to get into competing mythologies here but there were several things in Councillor Cunning’s account there with which I take issue but I can certainly say the hard work has all been done by this SNP administration.”