Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Win for Wearside women

About 150 women have won a long battle for equal-pay from Sunderland CityCouncil.

The success has been hailed as a landmark victory and could open the door to more claims. The women were mainly in cleaning, care and catering roles and now stand to receive thousands of pounds in compensation.

Solicitor Paul Doran, of North East firm Stefan Cross Solicitors, which represented the claimants, said: “It could be up to £25,000 for some of them. This is a massive victory for the women who have fought long and hard to uphold the simple principle of equal pay for work of equal value.”

In 12 test cases before an employment tribunal, the women successfully argued that bonus payments of up to 50% of basic salary made to men in stereotypical male jobs such as street cleansing, refuse collection and gardening, were discriminatory.

Mr Doran said: “Despite the Equal Pay Act having been in force since 1975, the council has been paying men up to 50% more than their female colleagues for work that has been shown to be equal for no reason other than the fact that they are men.

“The council has been given ample opportunity to resolve this situation, yet chose to do nothing until 2005 and even then their new pay structure has failed to resolve the issue. This decision however, shows that sex discrimination no longer has a place in our society.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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