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Triumph for council staff in equal pay settlement

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Summary of story from BBCNews, January 10, 2011

Hundreds of women employed by Edinburgh City Council have won a multi-million pound equal pay settlement.

The women first made claims to be paid the same as their male counterparts in 2005, and in 2008 an employment tribunal ruled in the women’s favour, but the local authority appealed against the decision.

This victory could have implications for thousands of women with similar claims against other Scottish councils.

Solicitor Carol Fox, of Fox Cross Solicitors Limited, who represents 400 women, said: “This is an important settlement which will benefit hundreds of claimants in Edinburgh.

“We are pleased to have reached final settlement on terms which we can recommend to our clients to bring all the litigation against the council to a conclusion.

“As part of the settlement the council has agreed to withdraw its appeal to the Supreme Court in London. We hope that other councils will follow this lead and make the long-awaited payments due to low paid female workers.”

Councillor Phil Wheeler, convener of finance and resources at the city council, said: “When considering claims we had to consider and balance two important issues.

“One is meeting our legal and moral obligations to staff who may have been disadvantaged by historic unequal pay. The second is our responsibility to use public money wisely.

“This has been a difficult process for all sides and I’m sure everyone will welcome a swift conclusion.”

Fox Cross Solicitors Limited said it had more than 5,000 pay claims against Glasgow City Council and about 2,500 women seeking equal pay settlements from South Lanarkshire Council.

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