Don’t delay on equal pay; GMB union issues challenge to council leader Ian Ward

Posted by Scott Rogers
Tuesday 12 July 2022
GMB Trade Union - Don’t delay on equal pay; GMB union issues challenge to council leader Ian Ward

“Birmingham City Council has a shameful record on equal pay

GMB union has called upon Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward to urgently intervene in the ongoing dispute over pay discrimination at Birmingham City Council.

The city’s equal pay problems were a prominent feature of the recent council election campaign, with Labour candidates across the city pledging to settle the dispute, but the Labour-run local authority has recently sought to stall the union from pursuing claims through legal roadblocks.

GMB is calling on Labour’s Ian Ward, Leader of the Council, to instruct council lawyers to lift the “stay” on cases at the Employment Tribunal and instead engage in meaningful negotiations with the union to compensate its members and end the discrimination.

Birmingham City Council has already been forced to pay out more than a billion pounds in equal pay settlements in the past decade, and GMB is warning that further delays will only drive up the eventual cost of settling the dispute.

GMB launched their campaign for Birmingham Pay Justice in November, with thousands of members uniting behind their demands for:

  • Full and fair compensation for the discrimination faced by Birmingham’s working women
  • End the discrimination by working with trade unions to re-implement the job evaluation scheme
  • Build a fair and equal Birmingham City Council by levelling women’s pay up, not bringing men down

Michelle McCrossen, GMB Midlands Regional Organiser, said:

“Birmingham City Council has a shameful record on equal pay, they must learn the lessons from the billions of pounds the Council has reportedly paid since 2012. 

“Delaying tactics not only sees the Council presiding over a discriminatory pay policy in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, but every day spent hiding behind legal procedure adds to the city’s eventual bill for settling our claims.

“The people of Birmingham elected Ian Ward and his Labour colleagues to run the city, not officials or lawyers. We’re urging him to intervene and put an end to these unnecessary and damaging delays, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with GMB to end the discrimination and deliver pay justice."

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