SCOTLAND'S biggest local authority is facing a new strike threat as concerns rise over the reneging of an agreement to settle a dispute which has cost over £500m to end "chronic sex discrimination".

The public service union Unison says women are being balloted for strike action on euqal pay after what unions have claimed is problems with stalling on an equal pay agreement which could see thousands of women workers excluded from future pay-outs.

The council had part-settled with 13,000 women at a total cost of £505m in 2019.

But now unions say that over 5,000 claimants have still received no settlement for the period up to March 2018, and 18,000 claimants are still waiting for a settlement for the period after March 2018.

The unions remain concerned that the new pay and grading system to eliminate gender pay discrimination will not be implemented until 2024 due to the volume of work involved around job evaluation and creating the new system.

Unions have been pushing for further equal pay compensation payments now.

Scotland's largest local government union Unison – with other unions – is balloting members and urging them to vote yes to strike action.

The union says that despite promises from Glasgow City Council to settle equal pay claims, thousands of women are still stuck on unequal pay scales, waiting for their claims to be settled in full.

READ MORE: Glasgow council faces legal action over new £310m equal pay row as 'chronic sex discrimination' continues

Christina McAnea, Unison general secretary said: “Women in Glasgow City Council have had promise after promise on equal pay and this saga has been going on for decades. Making women wait for many more years is not acceptable.

"This is a debt owed to women in the city and must be paid. If it was the other way round, the council would take no time at all in starting recovery action to recover debts owed to them.

HeraldScotland:

"The case is undoubtedly complicated, but it is not fair to keep Glasgow women hanging on. The council must not dump the terms of the 2019 deal. It must make a meaningful offer to settle this long-running dispute.”

The council was praised two years ago by a regulator for their progress in part-settling the equal pay dispute.

The Scottish Accounts Commission said that dealing with the claims had been a "significant development" with more than 98 per cent of cases part-settled.

The claimant group, reached the equal pay deal with the council in 2018.

READ MORE: 'Deeply concerning': Glasgow equal pay 'time bomb' remains 'unresolved'

That came after about 8,000 Glasgow council workers walked out on strike for 48 hours in October 2018 in a bid to settle the long-running pay claim.

The dispute centred around workers in traditionally female-dominated roles such as catering or home care being paid up to £3 an hour less than those in male-dominated jobs, such as refuse workers or grave diggers.

In 2017, two judgements at the Court of Session ruled that both the council's payment protection scheme and its Workforce Pay and Benefits Review discriminated against women workers.

HeraldScotland:

The claimant group as part of the 2019 settlement process, agreed to suspend legal proceedings with the council to focus on replacing the discriminatory pay process.

To pay for the claims, Glasgow City Council approved plans to sell off major venues to an arm's length body before leasing them back.

Plans were put in place to remortgage venues such as the Armadillo, the Emirates Arena, the Riverside Museum and Toryglen Regional Football Centre and then lease them back to the council - with the cost of the lease designed to meet the loan repayments.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The council is committed to resolving the issue of equal pay and dealing with equal pay claims.

“We reached an agreement to settle a substantial number of claims in 2019 – and it was agreed by all parties, at that time, that we would then seek to deal with new claims covering the same period.

“While these claims were explicitly not covered by the 2019 agreement, the council has made it clear in discussions with claimants’ representatives that its proposed approach remains absolutely rooted in that deal. To be clear, the council is prepared to make offers to settle the new claims on the basis of the 2019 deal.

“The council has also always been committed to considering options for the gap period, once an approach to new claims is agreed."