UK - The GMB union is to pursue sex and race discrimination claims against Islington council after it removed dinner ladies from the Local Government Pension Scheme.
Islington is outsourcing its school meals service to the Compass Catering Group, with 350 jobs moving to the private sector. However, the council has indicated that once the workers transfer to Compass, they will lose access to the LGPS.
Earlier this year, the GMB threatened Islington with legal action over its “unfair and discriminatory” move.
Legal action is now likely after the union said that it and its legal advisers would be meeting with the Equal Opportunities Commission and its lawyers to discuss action against Islington.
The GMB is basing its claims on the fact that workers from other privatised sectors – with primarily male workers – have been allowed to stay with the LGPS. The excluded workers are primarily female and 70% are from an ethnic minority.
GMB organiser for Islington, Keith Williams, said that so far there had been “no movement, whatsoever” on Islington’s part to try to resolve the issue.
He added: “We take a very serious view on this. We’ve also got 144 employment tribunal applications against Islington over equal pay – that tells us something is not right here.”
The union also wants to know what has happened to the contributions of other outsourced workers. It claims contributions made by former council workers managing the St Luke’s Estate in Islington have not been going into their pension scheme.
Islington council was unavailable for comment.
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