After months of prevaricating, North Lanarkshire Council is finally being dragged back to the Employment Tribunal next week where it will be forced to explain and justify its bizarre pay arrangements.
Now as regular readers know the Council agreed back in the summer to enter into negotiations aimed at resolving all of its outstanding equal pay claims, but when push came to shove the Council failed to put serious offers on the table which Action 4 Equality Scotland (A4ES) could recommend to its 3,000 plus clients.
So the Council and its senior officials will be back in the hot seat and will be required to explain pay arrangements which are based on traditional male jobs earning up to 60% more than their female colleagues.
Over the coming days I will be re-publishing some of the posts from the blog site archive which highlight what has been going on over the years in North Lanarkshire.
But it has to be said that this is a Labour council - yes a Labour council - and the council leader for the past 15 years or so has been Cllr Jim McCabe who used to be a Unison rep, a shop steward, and so Jim 'knows the score' if you ask me, when it comes to the underlying issues about equal pay.
The Council says its pay arrangements were discussed with the trade unions at the time and that the unions were consulted over an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) which, allegedly, gave the Council's job evaluation scheme (JES) a clean bill of health.
But since then the Council has been forced to admit in the Employment Tribunal that thousands of female dominated jobs such as Home Carers have been incorrectly scored and graded.
Yet all the women workers affected are still fighting for fair treatment and a proper response to their equal pay claims.
I have asked the Council to release an equal pay report to its corporate management team (CMT) dating back to 11 August 2005, but for some strange reason the Council has refused to release this information and an appeal has been lodged with the Scottish Information Commissioner.
In many respects this reminds me of the way that South Lanarkshire Council behaved over equal pay - another Labour run council which stuck it head in the sand for years before it was finally forced to do the right thing.
So I'm sure we will get their in the end and I, for one, am glad the cases are going back to the Employment Tribunal starting next week.
North Lanarkshire Update (1 October 2014)
I'm told that there is a full meeting of North Lanarkshire Council tomorrow (Thursday 2nd October) which should be interesting because I think this is the first meeting the Council has held since the summer due to the Scottish independence referendum.
So let's see what the Council bosses have to say about equal pay because things appear to be going nowhere pretty fast, given that the original deadline for reaching a settlement of all the outstanding cases was the end of August (2014).
My own view is that the Council is dragging its feet and that no real progress will be made until the Council is forced to face up to the hopelessness of its position by having another round of hearings and witnesses giving evidence at the Employment Tribunal.
Because, as I've said before on the blog site, the Council's most senior officials have an awful lot of explaining to do and the sooner the people involved are put under the spotlight and subject to cross examination, the better things will be for everyone, if you ask me.
My view is that these individuals will not be able to come up with an explanation that can justify North Lanarkshire's behaviour in relation to equal pay and nor will they be able to justify big differences in treatment between traditional male and female jobs.
North Lanarkshire Update (31 August 2014)
The settlement talks with North Lanarkshire Council have not produced an outcome by the end of August which was the timescale originally agreed by all the parties to get the job done.
The Council has failed to provide concrete offers of settlement which is the only way to bring these talks to a satisfactory conclusion.
Action 4 Equality Scotland (which has by far the largest number of claimants in North Lanarkshire) pushed for all the cases to go back to the Employment Tribunals, but both the Council and the trade unions asked for the settlement talks to be given more time.
So next week's tribunal dates have been postponed at this stage and the Council has been given more time to try and get its act together.
I have to say I'm now sceptical that North Lanarkshire is serious about bringing these talks to a conclusion without going back to the Employment Tribunal where senior managers can be put on the spot and forced to explain exactly what happened over the scoring and grading of so many council jobs, such as the Home Carers.
Because why else would North Lanarkshire refuse to release the minute of its Corporate Management Team (CMT) meeting dated 11 August 2005 - if the Council really does have nothing to hide?
If you ask me, this feels like history repeating itself.
In the sense that instead of acting openly and transparently, the Council is trying desperately to 'bury the evidence' just as South Lanarkshire did in relation to a previous FoI request which went all the way to the UK Supreme Court.
But as regular readers know, the UK Supreme Court decided unanimously in my favour - and a short time later all of the Action 4 Equality Scotland equal pay claims were resolved on satisfactory terms.