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Dudley Council workers in equal pay claim want case heard again
8:00am Wednesday 9th May 2012 in Local
HUNDREDS of Dudley Council women employees, including cleaners, catering staff and school administrators, who recently lost their claims for equal pay with men, want the Birmingham Employment Tribunal case heard again.
The pay increases they seek total thousands of pounds and involve a complicated structure involving bonus deals.
The women employees recently won part of their equal pay claims at the tribunal after comparing their wages with certain male employees.
But the tribunal rejected the other part of their claims involving equal pay with higher graded men.
Now the women, led by Margaret Whitehead whose job was not revealed, have applied to the tribunal to have the “rejected” part of their original claim heard again.
They believe certain crucial facts were not considered at the previous hearing.
Oliver Segal, representing the women workers, alleged there had been an error at the previous hearing and that the claimants were now applying for a new hearing.
The tribunal was asked to consider the wages of male grave diggers – also called cemetery operatives - employed by the council in considering whether the new hearing should go ahead.
Mr Segal said: “The claimants are not asking for a second bite at the cherry because the first bite was not correctly carried out out.
Ms Whitehead did not attend the hearing.
John Cavanagh, representing the council, said the local authority objected against the review appeal going ahead.
He said: “The claimants want a review of the previous tribunal decision which is virtually an appeal.
“But this does not qualify as a move in the interests of justice. It is an extraordinary application.”
The tribunal was told the grave diggers used to have a bonus scheme but it was removed following a restructuring programme.
They do receive a “stand by” bonus, however, it was said.
Tribunal judge David Dimbylow said the tribunal would make a decision at a later date.