Glasgow City Council has reached a £770 million agreement to settle outstanding claims in an equal pay dispute. 

The local authority has had to "sell and leaseback" a range of its buildings, including the city's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the City Chambers, in order to afford the compensation. 

Payments will now be made to a total of 19,000 current and former employees to cover the “gap period” between the first agreement in 2018 and the implementation of the new pay and grading system.

The local authority paid out £505m to 13,000 in 2019 to end a legal challenge over the unfair pay grade system which saw some male workers paid more than women in equivalent roles. However, that only covered the period up to 2018.

Taking the compensation above 700m will settle the remaining liability and outstanding claims relating to employees represented by Action 4 Equality Scotland, GMB, Unison and Unite.

This has been predominantly funded by two rounds of selling off council buildings and renting them back on lease periods of up to 30 years.

The Herald previously reported this plan would see a number of assets to council-operated legal entity which would then rent them to taxpayers at a commercial rate. 

Leader of Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken said: "I am delighted we have reached agreement with claimants’ representatives and can deliver the final stage of the pay justice that many Glaswegian women have fought long and hard for.

"We always knew that the lag between the first agreement four years ago and putting in place a new pay and grading structure meant additional payments would be made.

"But despite the length, complexity and challenges of this process, not least the impact of the pandemic, the City Government has never wavered in our commitment to ensuring these women were compensated for the persistent undervaluing of their work over many years.

"The complex process of replacing the Council’s pay and grading system to make it discrimination-proof is well advanced and will draw a line under the era of pay discrimination in Glasgow City Council.”

Negotiations are to resume to finalise the terms of individual settlement offers, including how and when payments will be made. 

The council assured that "all sides" are committed to ensuring the talks progress "as quickly and efficiently as possible".