Trade unions react to detailed public sector pay analysis


Last month the Wage Structure Committee produce a detailed report on pay in the public services as a basis of a tripartite discussion that is due to begin in the autumn and that will have an impact on negotiations of the next three-year collective agreements in the public sector that will run from April 2024. The committee, with trade union participation, was set up in 2021 as a first step in trying to address the persistent problem of pay inequality across the public services and the major staff shortages across many occupations. The initial reaction of many EPSU affiliates is to welcome the research as providing a basis for negotiation and for confirming that pay in sectors and occupations dominated by women tends to be lower than those dominated by men. There is, however, some concern about the way some data has been presented, with headline figures on nurses’ earnings, for example, including out-of-hours/nuisance allowances which some unions argue does not allow for a proper comparison of normal pay with other occupations. Several unions argue that the report demonstrates the extent to which their members are underpaid and there are calls for assurances that the extra funding committed by the government should be used to address pay inequalities while not leading to the situation that some workers gain while others lose out. The EPSU affiliates publishing an initial reaction include FOA, DSR, HK Kommunal, HK Stat, SL, DS, HKKF and FF.

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