UNION bosses have confirmed an equal pay agreement has been reached in Glasgow.

Calling it a "significant moment", GMB Scotland has now said Glasgow City Council, lawyers Action 4Equality Scotland, and unions, including Unison, have settled on terms.

The dispute has dragged on for more than 10 years and, while women will not see payments immediately, this is a decisive step forward.

It is believed the settlement will cost around £500 million.

GMB Scotland Organiser Hazel Nolan said: “This is a significant moment and is recognition of the value of women in this city, brought about by the women themselves understanding their own value and fighting for it together.

“Much will be said about the scale of the settlement reached but when you’re a worker on a wage what you’re selling ultimately is your time, and decades of systematic gender discrimination meant that women in Glasgow were forced to work longer hours for less.

Read More: Glasgow Equal Pay Dispute: Deal to settle Glasgow City Council cases is imminent

“We need to be clear that this can only financially compensate women for the time stolen from them, the time that could have been spent with their families and loved ones can’t be repaid.

“What is important now is that the claimants and their families can have confidence in this agreement and in the process of delivery in the coming weeks and months.”

Councillors on the council’s Joint Equal Pay Working Group were locked in a meeting this morning in the City Chambers to finalise terms of a deal.

City Treasurer, Allan Gow, will need to find cash to begin to pay interest on loans when he sets the council budget next month.

Union officers and lawyers representing the women are waiting to hear the outcome of the meeting today.

Stefan Cross QC, of Action 4 Equality, who represent thousands of claimants said it is not the end of the matter just yet.

He said: “We expect to get an agreement in principle, the structure of a deal.

“It will still be months before anyone gets an offer never mind a cheque.”

Around 8000 workers took part in an equal pay strike last year at the council after unions said they were fed up waiting for a settlement and were not satisfied with progress of negotiations.

The equal pay dispute has dragged on for more than a decade with Glasgow City Council under the previous Labour administration challenging court rulings to pay out.

The SNP fought the council election in 2017 pledging to end the dispute and soon after taking office council leader Susan Aitken said the council would end the legal challenge and move towards a negotiated settlement with the unions and lawyers representing the women.