Scottish museum workers win equal pay tribunals

Five museum workers have won a series of employment tribunals, which could have far-reaching consequences for equal pay deals at local authorities across Scotland.

The employees at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow have been awarded a total of more than £20,000 for unfair dismissal.

The three men and two women had their salaries cut by up to £1,000 a year when their posts as museums assistants were “deleted” and they were given new jobs as visitor assistants.

Their union Unison took the cases to an employment tribunal, arguing they were in effect doing the same jobs for less money. The tribunal ruled all five had been unfairly dismissed.

Peter Hunter, Unison Scotland’s legal officer, said the tribunal decision had wide-ranging implications in the current debate over the introduction of equal pay and single status in Scottish local government.

He said: “This case shows that employers must act reasonably when changing terms and conditions, whether in a best-value review or any other situation.”

In a separate case, the local authority was also ordered to pay more than £25,000 in compensation to three former community centre supervisors who lost their jobs during the service review.

The council said it was disappointed with the findings of the tribunal.

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