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in April 2008.

1bn bill after women win equal pay case

The claims stemmed from the introduction of a Single Status agreement aimed at removing wage differentials between men and women.

The tribunal heard how the Single Status agreement was implemented by Birmingham Baltimore Orioles Hats

Paul Savage, from Stefan Cross Solicitors, which represented almost 900 of the women, brought test claims for equal pay based on 49 different job groups within the council.

He said: Adidas Cap Black "This is a decisive and clear victory and now the city council should start putting together plans to meet its liabilities.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "For too long Birmingham City Council has failed to live up to its responsibilities to pay these women workers fairly. This has cost council taxpayers huge amounts of money in legal fees."

The tribunal heard how a female cleaner on Grade 1 received 11,577 the same grade as a street sweeper. But the sweeper actually earned 32,000 because of bonuses and overtime.

"It was revised again in 2004 with councils given an additional two years, but Birmingham City Council didn't do it until 2008."

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"The women are owed a lot of money and it's time that was rectified."

And Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB, added: "We've been fighting for equal pay rights for our members in councils for years and one of the worst offenders has beenBirmingham City Council.

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During the seven week hearing the tribunal heard how a man doing the same pay graded job as a woman could earn four times more than her.

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Mr Savage said: "Bonuses alone accounted for 15,000 of the street cleaner's salary, 19,000 for the refuse collector, and 20,000 for the refuse driver. Part of the bonus was an attendance allowance just for turning up, which was denied to women on the same grade."

He claimed the bill for the council based just on the 4,000 test cases was around 200 million.

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Alan Rudge, the council's cabinet member for equalities and human resources, said he would be consulting lawyers before deciding whether to appeal against the tribunal judgment.

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A Grade 4 worker which included a care assistant and refuse driver should have Nike Hats Academy

The tribunal heard also how while men in traditional male roles such as refuse collecting, grave digging and road sweeping were paid bonuses, women were not. Some of the men earned as much as four times as a woman on the same salary grade.

Coun Rudge (Con Sutton Vesey) added: "Suggesting this will cost us even 200 million is way over the mark, let alone 1 billion.

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For a Grade 2 worker, such as a school crossing patrol, lunchtime supervisor or kitchen assistant, the salary was 11,737. But the highest paid refuse collector, also a Grade 2, took home 46,000.

But if a further 20,000 women from the 57,000 strong workforce also came forward and lodged claims that could rise to 1 billion.

each claimant made up of backdated salary and interest from the year 2000.

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All the women were employed in traditionally female dominated roles, such as cleaning, care and catering, as well as administration roles.

The tribunal's judgement announced yesterday upheld the women's complaints and means the council could be forced to pay up to 100,000 to Brooklyn Nets Cap

earned just 12,291, but the highest paid driver took home 50,000.

"They've known for years that they owe equal pay to their low paid women workers but instead of paying up they've tried every trick in the lawyer's book to try to delay."

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