Boo hoo

// 12 March 2007

woman with payslipMen working in the public sector are seeing their salaries cut by up to £15,000 a year in order to bring them into line with female colleagues, The Times reports.

Although the point of equal pay legislation should surely be to increase women’s pay until it matches that of men doing the same jobs, and I’m sure hard working civil servants shouldn’t have their pay cut, The Times’ coverage of this story is laughable.

On the other hand, you can bet that if someone’s pay is being cut £15,000, they’re earning a huge amount more than average. They are, I would guess, some of the top earning civil servants in the country.

Note, no-where in the story does it state that these pay cuts mean that women were being massively underpaid. If public bodies are having to take these drastic measures, it must be because in paying their workers fairly they have uncovered chronic differences between what men and women are paid.


Up to 700,000 female council workers, a similar number of NHS workers and tens of thousands of teaching assistants and Ministry of Defence staff are now eligible for equal pay settlements stretching back over six years.

And, by the way, any women reading this who are members of the GMB might want to complain about this:

Brian Strutton, of the GMB union, said that men were also taking councils to court. “People have to compromise, otherwise it is unaffordable,” Mr Strutton said. “As part of the compromise we sometimes have to bring down male earnings. But it only then takes one woman to want more to break the whole agreement.”

The commenters on The Times’ story are pretty disgusting, from the few I read:

And the madness continues. I’ve no gripe about equal pay but how can you justify reducing someone’s pay to give it to someone else? It’s the male employee’s fault ?

I’m glad I work in the private sector. However, beware, these control freaks are making noises about pay in this area.

Because addressing the pay gap is just so unfair to men. Overall, it’s hardly desirable to cut anyone’s pay, but it’s much better than leaving the situation as it was – and if that’s the only way to achieve pay equality on an organisation’s budget, that’s the way it should be done.

Photo by mileena, shared under a Creative Commons license

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