Leven Councillor Jim Bollan

Figures released recently show 27,000 women, many in low paid jobs, working for Council's in Scotland continue to be denied equal pay, for work of equal value.

These figures are a scandal in 2017.

Single Status which was supposed to harmonise pay between men and women was introduced in 1999.

Council's had until 2004 to implement Single Status.

Many Council's in Scotland, including West Dunbartonshire, have still not settled equal pay for all those entitled to it.

Our local SNP Council in West Dunbartonshire had an opportunity at the Council meeting last month to right this wrong which is an equality and moral issue, but voted against a resolution, and killed it stone dead.

A prelude to discussing the equal pay issue at the Council meeting was the SNP's shoddy attempt to exclude the press and a full public gallery from listening to the debate.

I will let your readers make their own minds up why the SNP wanted the debate in private.

Wisely they backed down and the debate and vote was taken in public, as it should be.

The position adopted by the SNP seemed to be that because Labour never sorted this in the last five years, then neither will the SNP and we need to move on.

Not a very principled or political stance, but a reckless and twisted approach to a situation affecting so many low paid women.

A situation that will not go away anytime soon as is being experienced in Glasgow.

WDC has the money and the ability to come to settlements with all the women who have, for whatever reason, missed out on an equal pay settlement.

It was not beyond the Cllr's who attended the August Council meeting to resolve this issue, but unfortunately the political will was lacking.

In recent months three senior highly paid male officers were allowed to keep over £100,000 of overtime payments going back to 2003.

These payments were made in error and breached the conditions of their contracts.

Would three women have been allowed to keep these payments?

Senior officers predominately male, and there have been many, over the years have received golden handshakes when leaving the Council by way of increased pension years on top of what they were entitled to.

These were ex-gratia payments paid into the individuals pension pot.

Why are low paid predominately women workers being treated differently?

The Community Party stand ready to support any political grouping on the Council that provides a fair and equitable solution to this equal pay issue for women.