Will new leadership end equal pay saga?

Members of the GMB Union presents the council with a report card as they protest  about equal pay.
Members of the GMB Union presents the council with a report card as they protest about equal pay.

GMB Scotland hopes the change of leadership at North Lanarkshire Council will finally see female staff’s equal pay claims being settled.

Dozens of women protested outside Motherwell Civic Centre yesterday (Thursday) prior to the first meeting of the council since Jim Logue replaced Jim McCabe as leader.

It is hoped the first real political change in North Lanarkshire for 18 years, as well as the rise of the SNP in last year’s General Election, will be the catalyst for the ruling Labour group to reach a settlement with workers.

GMB regional organiser Hazel Nolan said: “Jim Logue took office as the council leader on International Women’s Day at which point I wrote to him to ask him to resolve the equal pay issue.

“He made the point that North Lanarkshire Labour cannot be dinosaurs any more and the council needs show initiative to bring in change, which are fully behind.

“North Lanarkshire had very little change politically, until Councillor Logue was appointed a month ago Jim McCabe was leader was 18 years and a lack of change breeds complacency and arrogance.

“We have a report card for North Lanarkshire Council and gave them an A+ for arrogance because until recently we were told we could fight it all we wanted and they weren’t going to budge.

“However, since last year’s election people are suddenly starting to listen a lot more, or at least giving that impression, and we are definitely hoping to meet Councillor Logue as soon as possible.

“Our t-shirts say “Deeds Not Words” which is an old suffragette slogan and seems fitting because we want a pay-out, not just more broken promises.”

Many of the protestors then took in the council meeting where Councillor Logue offered them hope.

He said: “There is a political will to progress this matter and I’ve invited Hazel and other reps to meet with me next week in an attempt to find a resolution.”