Council's Equal Pay Legal Bill Pounds 1.1 M; BATTLE: Court Appeal over Low Paid Ruling Is Throwing Money Away - Claim

Article excerpt

Byline: Les Reid

COVENTRY council is to go to the Court of Appeal to fight tribunal rulings which would provide years of back pay to low paid workers.

The move comes as the Telegraph can reveal that the authority's legal bill contesting the issue has already topped pounds 1.1 million. We can also reveal a further pounds 250,000 of taxpayers' money has been set aside for the action.

The council last month failed at an Employment Appeal Tribunal to overturn an earlier tribunal ruling which could enable about 600 mainly female staff, including care assistants and dinner ladies, to earn equal pay to male workers such as binmen.

Labour councillor and city lawyer Phil Townshend said the council's latest decision to appeal against the tribunal ruling was throwing away the hard-earned cash of council taxpayers.

They could also be clobbered with a final bill of more than pounds 30 million to settle the long-running equal pay row.

He said the Court of Appeal had already ruled against other councils, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment was sound.

In a stinging attack on ruling Conservatives, including deputy leader ANGRY... .

coun Kevin Foster, he said: "There is no chance of winning. They may as well have stood by a drain and pushed pounds 50 notes through it. …