Pembrokeshire County Council has paid out around £3.5million to settle historic equal pay claims, the Western Telegraph can reveal.

The majority of GMB union members have had pay gaps corrected – ranging from 1p to £2.07 per hour – to bring the wages of men and women in comparable jobs to the same level.

Althea Phillips, GMB regional organiser, said: “I applaud the council for negotiating with us such realistic settlements for my members, which rank among the highest, so far, in Welsh authorities.”

This is the latest in a series of compensation settlements that the GMB has achieved for its predominantly female members. Eradicating pay inequality is a key policy objective for the union, a spokesman added.

Ceri Barnes, a school crossing patrol, dinner lady and cleaner at Narberth Primary School, said she had been given payments backdated to when she started seven years ago, totalling “more than a few months’ wages”.

Ceri had been very cross when she first found about the issue from the GMB.

“The GMB approached me and said they were taking action with the council for equal pay. I didn’t even know there was an issue,”

she said.

“I wasn’t a member of the GMB before, and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have known about it.

“It’s brilliant, I’m really pleased. I think everyone is happy with the outcome.”

The equal pay settlement has been based on the pay gap between female dominated jobs such as home care, cook, care assistant, cleaner and catering assistant and comparable male jobs that were receiving a bonus such as refuse collectors and drivers, street cleansing operatives and grounds maintenance workers, explained the GMB.

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said: “Pembrokeshire County Council has worked jointly with the GMB union and its solicitors in order to achieve this realistic deal, and we are pleased to have been able to resolve these outstanding issues.”