£190k pay claim for Midland dinner lady

A dinner lady has been awarded £190,000 in back pay and compensation as part of plans to settle a £1 billion council equal pay debacle, it has emerged today.

The woman in question, employed by Birmingham City Council, was said to have been overwhelmed when told of the windfall. A source told the Express & Star she had been told she ‘might want to sit down’ before she was informed of the good news.

Around 11,000 female employees past and present of the council are eligible for payouts after a court ruled it had to compensate workers who were paid less than men for doing equivalent jobs.

Other councils across the Black Country have also had thousands of claims running to tens of millions of pounds.

Birmingham’s bill is so high it has forced the council to put its landmark venues the NEC, National Indoor Arena, LG Arena and International Convention Centre up for sale to try to cover the costs.

The council has refused to confirm or deny that one dinner lady was paid the enormous sum of £190,000, citing confidentiality clauses. And its press office has said that members of the Labour cabinet would not be commenting either.

Conservative councillor Peter Douglas Osborn said the council was paying the price for Tony Blair and Labour’s ‘single status’ agreement with the trade unions in 1997, which said different public sector jobs typically done by one gender could be compared for pay, such as refuse collectors, which were typically men, and cleaners who were mainly women.

He said: “The staff involved signed confidentiality agreements. Between 1997 and 2013, if a dinner lady had 17 years’ service as a manager the settlement would come near enough to £190,000. I have been told it is not outside the bounds of possibility.

“It seems that, with Labour in charge of the council, its chickens have come home to roost from the eggs laid by Tony Blair.”

Tony Rabaiotti, from the Unison trade union. said the city council had made a mistake in 2008 when it paid bonuses to binmen to stop them going on strike, opening itself up to a flood of new claims.

He said: “We have had cases where care assistants have been eligible for payments around £100,000. These were women with long service who had not been treated the same as men doing equivalent work.”

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Comments for: "£190k pay claim for Midland dinner lady"


Obviously Peter Douglas Osborn is a typical male who believes women are not entitled to equal pay.

I wonder how he would feel if the boot was on the other foot and he was to be classed as not being equal to a woman and was underpaid accordingly?

Enjoy your term in office Sir for your job may be under threat soon to go with the NEC, NIA, LG Arena and ICC because I've no doubt your expenses could probably pay for a female receptionist or 2 for a year!

As for the lady who has received the big payout, congratulations but don't go spending it wildly!


What a shambles, get me a job


Dairy is inaccurate as any trot. I believe in equal rights, and equal pay for the same job. I do not claim any expenses so the second part of the argument fails too. I once was a Miner on the Northumberland and Durham coalfield and there were no women allowed down the pit by agreement and wish of the NUM! I do believe that people are entitled to know what is being kept from them by these confidentiality agreements, as it is ratepayers money that is being spent. The mess was created by the Labour local administration doing nothing to enact the single status that their national government had agreed on to get support from the Unions, being 1997 to when they lost control of Birmingham seven years later.


I was talking to a union official when I was at a training day at union headquarters, he said about this equal pay issue across councils and that the union had warned them this would blow up in their faces if they didn't address is asap ( 5 years ago)and that it would go to the European courts of appeal and council bosses laughed in his face or as good has because they are so big and mighty with powerful lawyers, well these chickens came home to roost ! Serves them right !

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