Gillian Clementson (63), a retired home care worker, said: “I think the council have got their blinkers on to be honest.
“They just don’t want to pay out. They have taken it this far and are frightened to admit they have got it wrong.”
Carolann Murdoch (52) who worked as a catering manager for the council between 2004 and 2007, said she and many other claimants remain completely confident of victory: “I would like to see it wrapped up in the new year, I think there will be a settlement before the spring.”
Many of the 2777 workers with cases are still employed at the council, and one of them, a care worker from Uddingston, said: “It’s time for South Lanarkshire Council to pay out instead of dragging this on, especially when it is the taxpayer paying for it. The council do not like to be seen as the baddie but this is just shattering their image. They are a reasonable employer to work for but they need to hold their hands up and get this dealt with.”
Solicitor Carole Fox, of Fox Cross Solicitors, who is representing many of the claimants, said it is time for elected officials to step in and end the dispute.
She said: “The council are losing every legal argument. Who is making these decisions, who is wasting all this taxpayers money?
“We understand the politicians have delegated to the paid officials who have in turn delegated to the legal advisors, and their legal advice is clearly not working. We would call on the politicians and officials to take ownership of this issue and get it sorted.”
Ms Fox also warned the problem would “just get bigger” with Unions now lodging claims. She also said many male workers in traditionally “female” jobs may have claims in the future.
Council leader Eddie McAvoy said under their standing orders, officers had to follow the legal advice they were given. He added: “We deal with public money and councillors cannot overrule legal advice without being able to justify it.
“The legal advice we are getting is there is grounds for appeal. It could cost millions in a payout and that would be a bigger waste of tax payers money if we paid out when we might not need to.
“Many of my good friends are taking action against the council in this, I don’t have any personal opinion on it, but it is good governance to follow the legal advice.”
A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Council said: “The council has not lost its appeal against the pre-hearing review judgement and is still awaiting a date for this to be heard by the employment appeals tribunal.”