Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Low-paid Fife Council workers win equal pay settlement

Fife Council Image copyright Google

A multi-million pound settlement has been reached with Fife Council for about 2,000 workers - mainly low paid women - over equal pay claims.

The council said it had reached agreement on the historical equal pay claims, without the need for court action.

Some workers will get back-pay dating from 2006.

Fife Council said the overall cost of the agreement would be published "in due course".

Councils across the UK have been dealing claims from current and former female employees who argue that they were earning less than men in comparable, but different, jobs.

Council leader David Ross said: "This has been a difficult time for everyone concerned.

"These claims have been ongoing for some considerable time and the legal processes involved have been complex.

"The fact that we have reached agreement without the need for legal proceedings has to be welcomed."

Mr Ross added: "There will no doubt be comparisons between Fife and other local authorities who are also dealing with equal pay claims.

"However it's important to note that no two cases are the same and the fact that we haven't had to go through a court process means Fife's outcome cannot be compared to others.

"There will be significant cost to the council and we're in the process of working through the fine detail which will lead to the final figures.

"Set against the existing budget gap of £77m over three years, this will make the development of our future budgets even more challenging."

Dougie Black, Unison regional organiser for Fife local government, said: "This has been a long time coming, many claims stretch back to 2006, we can only thank Unison members for their hard work and patience.

"We will now discuss individual claims with the employer to ensure each claim is calculated properly.

"This a good day for low-paid women workers and Unison is proud to have been a part of it."

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