A group of 14 trade unions, including the FOA public services union, the BUPL and SL childcare and social worker unions and the cartel of health unions, has written to the government calling on it to take action to address the persistent gender pay gap. The unions identify the problem as one of labour market structure, with female-dominated work, particularly in health and social services, undervalued and paid less than occupations and sectors dominated by men. The unions argue that at the current pace it will take over 110 years to achieve equal pay. They say that, because this is a structural labour market issue, it cannot be left to trade unions and employers to negotiate and the government needs to take responsibility for the extra funding needed for higher increases in sectors and occupations dominated by women.
Unions call for government action to close gender pay gap
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EPSU report on the gender pay gap in public services across Europe pointed to positive change between 2010-16 with the gender pay gap falling in education, health and social work and public administration (central and local government) and generally narrower than in the business sector.
Last week, the University of Greenwich organised a workshop in London on the Gender Pay Gap in Central and Northern Europe, which was attended by project partners including EPSU, as well as representatives from various trade unions.