SCOTSTOUN Leisure Centre is amongst a list of buildings which could be sold off to fund the equal pay settlement for thousands of women who work for Glasgow City Council.

Councillors formally approved a compensation deal for claimants today (Thursday, February 7) – setting in train a process expected to see workers receive details of their individual entitlements over the next few months, with compensation paid from this summer.

Glasgow City Council has signed off the £548 million equal-pay settlement with nearly 16,000 current and former employees.

The settlement is estimated to be around a fifth of the council's yearly £2.407 billion budget.

Susan Aitken, council leader, said: “I’m delighted to have won backing for a deal that finally delivers pay justice for thousands of women in our workforce.

“A year ago, we began negotiations and, today, the council formally agreed a plan to pay women at Glasgow City Council what they are owed. That starts to put right a wrong that has damaged the council, its workforce and the city for too long.

“I want to thank the women for their determination; their dedication to the city and its people, and for trusting me to deliver what they have always deserved."

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Members also approved a financial strategy designed to fund the settlement – with some of the city’s property assets to be used to unlock loans.

Today’s city administration committee gave officers the go-ahead to use property assets to secure loans meeting the cost of settling pay claims.

Wholly-owned arm’s-length company City Property Glasgow Investments LLP is currently engaging lenders with the aim of refinancing a loan originally taken in 2010 – releasing significant additional value due to a growth in the value of its assets and more favourable interest rates.

The council will also sell a significant further portfolio of operational buildings to City Property and then lease them back at a commercial rate.

The purchase will be funded by long-term loans, with the lease payments meeting the annual cost of the borrowing.

Crucially, this means the buildings will remain in the city’s ownership and users will not see any difference in how they access them on a day-to-day basis.

Discussions are still ongoing with potential funders, however, Glasgow City Council expects the Emirates Arena, Riverside Museum, SEC Armadillo, Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, City Halls, Toryglen Football Centre, Gorbals Leisure Centre and Bellahouston Leisure Centre to become part of the City Property portfolio.

Councillor Aitken added: “I’ve always been clear that, although settling equal pay has been about delivering justice for thousands of the women in our workforce, meeting the substantial cost of doing that must be fair for citizens.

“Releasing the potential of our property, while keeping it in the city’s ownership, protects services and the future of these valued assets.”