A new deal means Glasgow City Council can begin paying back thousands of underpaid workers by selling off some of its most iconic buildings and venues to a council-run body and leasing them back to help pay for an equal pay settlement.
Third Force News(tfn) writes:
Council leader Susan Aitken had plans to remortgage several building approved yesterday in a move that will raise the majority of the £548m needed to payback thousands of staff who were underpaid for decades. The move means the city will shoulder payments of at least £25m for decades to come. City Property, one of Glasgow’s eight arms-length external organisation (Aleo), will take over the buildings and venues although details have yet to emerge.
Many of the city’s Aleos are also charities, however City Property isn’t.
Aitken said: ‘It will be challenging and over time we may have to make some difficult decisions but we are confident that we can balance our budget without having to make very drastic cuts.’
Aitken said the Scottish Government is not helping to finance the settlement. She added: ‘The people of Scotland shouldn’t have to pay for Glasgow’s mistakes. Other local authorities have settled equal pay liabilities on their own. This is Glasgow’s problem. It is up to Glasgow to fix.’
Discussions are still ongoing with potential funders, however the council expects the Emirates Arena, Riverside Museum, SEC Armadillo, Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, City Halls, Toryglen Football Centre, Gorbals Leisure Centre and Bellahouston Leisure Centre to become part of the City Property portfolio.
The equal pay agreement begins a process expected to see workers receive details of their individual entitlements over the next few months and compensation paid from this summer.