Glasgow & West Scotland

First pay-outs made to Glasgow council equal pay workers

Thousands of women march in Glasgow in one of the biggest strikes over equal pay in the UK. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Workers took party in a 48-hour strike over equal pay

The first payments have been made to female workers at Glasgow City Council following the settlement of a long-running dispute over equal pay.

The row centred on women who were paid up to £3 an hour less than male colleagues, despite being in the same pay grade.

The women affected will receive an average of £35,000 each - with a total pay-out of £548m.

The council said the first payments would reach workers on Thursday.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: "Today is the day we can finally allow ourselves to say we are making good on equal pay and a promise of justice for thousands of women workers.

"Today is the day that hundreds of millions of pounds starts to find its way into the pockets and purses of thousands of people who earned it and who always should have had it."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Venues such as the Armadillo, the Emirates Arena, the Riverside Museum and Toryglen Regional Football Centre are being remortgaged to help finance the deal

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed the move as "fantastic" in a tweet.

She added: "All credit to the women who campaigned long and hard for this."

In October last year, many schools were shut and home care services affected when workers took party in a 48-hour strike over equal pay.

Glasgow City Council later approved plans to finance the £548m equal pay settlement by selling off major venues to an arm's-length body and leasing them back.

The deal involves transferring ownership of prominent buildings such as the Riverside Museum and the Emirates arena to the council-owned body City Property.

It will take out long-term loans against the value of the venues.

'Safeguarding the future'

They will then be rented back to the council with the cost of the lease designed to meet the loan repayments.

The first, and biggest, deal is a newly-signed £285m partnership with insurance and pensions firm Legal & General.

Cllr Aitken said: "This is a hugely significant step forward for the council and the city as a whole. This deal not only means we can meet our responsibilities on equal pay - but do so while safeguarding the future of the city's property assets in public use.

"I'm very pleased to be doing that in partnership with Legal & General, which has already shown great confidence in Glasgow as a place to invest."

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