Glasgow City Council has come under fire for "stalling" in a bid to end "chronic sex discrimination" by delaying settling of up to 18,000 equal pay claims.

The union-led Glasgow Equal Pay Joint Claimant Group is calling for what it called "leadership intervention" warning that the unresolved dispute will cost the local authority a further £100m a year.

The outsanding equal pay liability is estimated at £320m and the group has now called on council leader Susan Aitken to intervene over what it called "failing job evaluation and refusal to engage in agreed settlement talks".

It comes nine months after the council was praised by a regulator for their progress in settling the equal pay dispute.

The Scottish Accounts Commission said that dealing with the claims has been the most significant development with more than 98 per cent of cases partially settled at a total cost of £505 million.

READ MORE: Glasgow signs off £548m equal-pay deal with 16,000 workers

In a letter to Ms Aitken, claimant representatives expressed concerns over the failure of officials to meet with them to progress negotiations for the council’s replacement job evaluation scheme, which was set for March 31, 2021, leaving in place the current "discriminatory" scheme.  They said that also delays the settlement of up to 18,000 equal pay claims.


The group said that as part of the 2019 settlement process, which delivered over £500 million in equal pay awards, the joint claimant group agreed to suspend legal proceedings with the council to focus on a negotiated replacement of the job evaluation scheme.

The group said council officials indicated a delay of ten months for the completion of a new job evaluation scheme.

But trade union claimant representatives believe unless there is intervention and support for additional resources, this will not be completed before April 2023, and are calling on Ms Aitken to act. GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith said: “Glasgow’s outstanding equal pay liability is an estimated £320 million and will increase by £100 million a year for every year it continues to remain unresolved – it’s a time bomb for the city and its finances.

“That’s why we are urging Councillor Aitken to personally intervene now, so we can kick-start the process of ending the chronic sex discrimination of working women in Glasgow City Council.

“The gulf between the council officials and the elected leadership is growing again. The failure of officials to meet with the joint claimant group to progress the replacement of the discriminatory job evaluation scheme and settle these residual claims is deeply concerning.

“The aim was to complete the new job evaluation scheme now, at the very least it should be well down the road, and we should be working towards the delivery of settling all outstanding equal pay claims, but instead the liabilities are growing along with the burden on the city.

“Left unchallenged, not only is the council stalling on tackling discrimination and the delivery of justice, but with each passing day its ability to resolve this scandal on its own diminishes as the liability grows.”

The city council has been approached for comment.