Glasgow museums to be remortgaged to fund equal pay settlement

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 12.02.2019
Riverside Museum and Glasgow Museum Resource Centre among the affected properties 
Riverside Museum and Glasgow Museums Resource Centre are among a number of public properties being remortgaged by Glasgow City Council in order to settle a long-running equal pay dispute.

The council approved a deal last week to use the properties to unlock loans for compensation payouts worth £548m, which will be paid to around 12,500 council employees – mainly women – who received lower salaries than men in similarly-graded roles over a 12-year period. 

The properties will be added to the portfolio of a council-owned arms-length company, City Property Glasgow Investments, and leased back to the council at a commercial rate.

“Crucially, this means the buildings will remain in the city's ownership and users will not see any difference in how they access them on a day-to-day basis,” the council said in a statement. 

The equal pay dispute arose after the introduction of a job evaluation scheme in 2006 that, although intended to tackle gender pay inequality, penalised those working split shifts and irregular hours, resulting in female-dominated jobs being paid up to £3 an hour less than male-dominated roles. Each claimant is due to receive a payout of around £35,000.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: "I've always been clear that, although settling equal pay has been about delivering justice for thousands of the women in our workforce, meeting the substantial cost of doing that must be fair for citizens.

"Releasing the potential of our property, while keeping it in the city's ownership, protects services and the future of these valued assets."

The council has ruled out including historically significant buildings such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the City Chambers in the deal. 

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