Feminist Philosophers neatly encapsulate equal pay story
Louise Livesey // 11 February 2008
Copied from Feminist Philosophers because, frankly, I couldn’t put it better….
UK Members of parliament are urging action to close the pay gap between men and women. (Currently at 18% for full-time workers and 40% for part-time.) Meanwhile, Birmingham council is vividly demonstrating the wrong way to close the gap: cutting the pay of traditionally male occupations. This has, unsurprisingly, led to a strike.
It’s worth noting that women who would have benefitted from the pay deal were also on strike in support of their colleagues receiving a pay cut and in opposition to retrogrades changes in terms and conditions in their contracts if they accepted the pay rise.
EDIT: And this is why we’ll all love the comment function! Very useful email from StephenBooth.uk…..
Regarding your quote from Feminist Philosophers about Birmingham City council going about addressing equal pay the wrong way. Not only were many of those on the picket lines women who had gained under single status, many were women who had lost money.
Whilst, as groups, some of the biggest winners are in traditionally female roles, notably catering and caring, because those groups are so large the actual increases amounted to a few pounds a week per person, or less. The largest individual gainers, certainly that I am aware of, have been in management. Many of the biggest losers have been people in highly technical roles (IT, planning, transportation, skilled craft &c) or who recieved bonuses for unpleasent/unsafe working conditions, hours of work or productivity. Many of these people, especially in IT, have been women.
Thanks Stephen, a very useful addition. All the women I heard being interviewed were manual workers out because of terms and conditions which made their pay increases a double-edged sword but you are right, the increases are not generous across the board and do privilege some workers over others.