Sunderland care and support workers begin historic legal action today.
The mainly women workers will protest full council tonight [Wednesday 24 January 2024] as they launch historic legal action to recover the wages and pension contributions owed.
Workers impacted by pay discrimination will be asking seven questions to councillors.
The mainly women staff employed at Sunderland Care and Support (SCAS) have been denied access to a more generous Local Authority Pension Scheme, that predominantly male council workers use.
And they are paid less per hour than male dominated jobs.
Following Sunderland Council's refusal to negotiate with GMB to deliver a fair wage for these women workers, the union is now moving to legal action against the council.
Kim Inglis, care worker and GMB representative, said:
“Today we will bring real women's stories to full council.
"Stories like Gemma's who said: ‘Equal pay would mean I’m not living hand to mouth every month. I’d be able to spoil my little boy now and then and not have to worry if I could afford it’.
"Louise who said: ‘It would mean I wouldn’t have to work as much additional overtime and would have a better work life balance.’
"and Gillian who said: ‘I’m a single parent and homeowner. My basic wage just covers my bills, so I have to work a lot of overtime just to make ends meet. I also have elderly parents to look after, and I’m left exhausted. Working fewer hours would give me a better work life balance’.
“These stories tell the real story on unfair pay, and we won't tolerate it. So today we are launching our formal legal equal pay cases against Sunderland City Council.
“We urge all SCAS workers to contact the GMB to lodge their legal claim as soon as possible.”