AFTER waiting 13 years, hundreds of Dudley Council workers have finally begun receiving equal pay deals.

The 400 female workers, who include cleaners, carers, caterers and lollipop ladies, could soon have their backpay in the next few weeks, if they agree to the offer.

Individual offers have gone out to the workers, including those who have not even submitted claims, but school-based staff are having to wait until later in the year to receive their backpay deals.

In total, 3,000 Unison members lodged claims for the Single Status Agreement but council bosses are only set to pay out 65 per cent of the applicants.

Unison branch leader Steve Beardsmore said the union was busy offering legal advice to all its members before they make their decisions on the deals.

He said: “It is great things are happening now but we would have liked the council to pay out 100 per cent, not just the 65 per cent.”

Mr Beardsmore added: “It has been very frustrating for our members. Neighbouring councils have sorted out their equal pay and Dudley Council has been at the back of the queue.

“We are just waiting to hear when they will offer deals to the school staff. We have been told the council need to clarify legal positions but we hope this is going to be resolved quickly.”

Councillor Adrian Turner, cabinet member for personnel, law and property, thanked the members for their patience.

He said: “Our staff working on equal pay claims have been extremely busy in recent months.

“We would thank claimants for their patience while this work has been carried out.

“As a fair and even-handed employer, we are making offers to all relevant staff, whether or not they have made a claim.

“Those staff who have not made a claim will be contacted directly and those who accept may receive the pay this month.