It has been an arduous and often fractious process, but the Glasgow equal pay dispute now appears to have been resolved. Women council employees in the city have waited for more than a decade for justice over pay policies which systematically discriminated against them.

The delays have come not only through the legal process, but due to deliberate acts under the previous Labour administration. This saga shames Glasgow City Council. Alerted to the fact that its pay structures were illegal – allowing men to claim bonuses that women doing similar jobs had no access to – the Council introduced a Workforce Pay and Benefits Review. But, this – cooked up it has to be said in collusion with trade unions – locked in the inequality while purporting to fix it.

Alerted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to the fact that this new pay structure was also fundamentally discriminatory the council dissembled, suggesting its findings applied only to classroom assistants. The EHRC itself puzzlingly decided to take its investigation no further.

Some parties emerge with great credit. The women themselves, supported by lawyer Stefan Cross QC have fought tirelessly for their rights. The unions under new local leadership, have ultimately battled hard to support their female members. And Glasgow City Council’s leader Susan Aitken, who pledged on taking office in May 2017 to resolve the issue has come good on that promise.

Thousands of women will now be recompensed with sums averaging £35,000 each– although the amounts individuals receive will vary considerably. But there is sadness that some of their number have not lived long enough to see a just outcome and for many the victory will be bittersweet. £500 million is a vast sum, but what price can you put on lives put on hold, opportunities missed?

Mr Cross was mocked when he said it would cost £500 million to settle this dispute, but turns out to have been accurate. Finding this money will be painful for the city but this decision is overdue and very welcome.