A DECADE-LONG battle for equal pay has ended with Glasgow City Council’s intention to seek leave to appeal being refused by the Court of Session.

Around 10 thousand low-paid women at the council will now receive equal pay for equal work, as the law requires, with many having claims dating back as far as 2006.

Glasgow City Council said it remains committed to working with all concerned in order to resolve the long-running dispute.

Ten years of litigation, with claimants receiving support from Unison and campaign group Action 4 Equality, seemed to have ended in August when the Court of Session ruled that the council’s pay arrangements may have been less favourable to women in low-paid jobs.

Unison – the UK’s public sector union – challenged the council back in 2006, objecting to the use of different scales, one for core pay and others for non-core pay. The union said that the system in place made it difficult for employees to know if they were receiving the same pay as someone else doing the same job.

In its August ruling, the Court of Session said that the council failed to show that its job evaluation scheme was “thorough in its analysis, objective, transparent, accurate, internally sound and consistent, sufficiently detailed, and fair and did not ... comply with Equal Pay Act 1970, now subsumed into the Equality Act 2010”.

The council then asked for permission to appeal that court ruling. Trade unions hit out at the move at the time, labelling the council’s actions as “a betrayal”.

However, attempts to seek permission to appeal the August ruling was yesterday refused, with Unison’s regional manager for Scotland, Peter Hunter, welcoming the decision.

“In a clear and unequivocal judgement read from the bench the court immediately dismissed every shred of argument presented by the council lawyers,” he said. “Glasgow City Council has shown an appetite for endless litigation that has delayed justice for thousands of women.

“We have rarely seen such forthright and immediate rejection of an employer argument.

“The court could not have been more clear – the council do not have a valid pay system and they must address their obligations to women and do that now. Our members were in court and could not be more delighted. We look forward to the hard work of delivering justice for our people in the new year.”

Councillor Susan Aitken said: “This is a significant development in this long-running issue. We will continue to discuss this with claimants’ representatives as part of ongoing negotiations which will continue in to the new year.

“I remain committed to working with all parties to finally achieve a resolution to this dispute.”