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Message for International Women's Day 2016

Dear colleague,
In case you missed it UCU put out a report this morning which looks at the gender pay gap in colleges and universities. You can read it here.
The report marks International Women's Day and the figures in it are pretty damning in my view.  However what I have been even more disturbed about is the unbelievably complacent response from some of those employers who figure in the report. I have picked just two out which are really special.
One university who had submitted data to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) showing a pay gap of more than £8,000 between men and women claimed this morning to the press that it had in fact made 'strong and significant progress in recent years'.
Meanwhile a college featured in the report's hall of shame told the media that this was unfair since they 'employ a high proportion of teaching staff on an hourly paid basis and these contracts tend to be more attractive to women, enabling them to work more flexibly.'
It is hard to know where to start with either of these responses. An £8k gap is certainly not my idea of progress and the idea that an institution should be congratulated for placing its women employees on low paying casual contracts with little job security or employment rights is risible.
But the reality of course is that this hopeless complacency is no laughing matter and it is now long past time that the employers faced up to the problem and did something about it.
Ensuring fair and transparent pay is a concern for everyone not just women.  Please help us celebrate International Women's Day by sharing this message and the report with everyone you know.
Thank you.
Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

Equal pay

UCU has produced a set of questions to help you identify whether you may have an equal pay or other discrimination claim: 
Getting equal pay – questions that might help [119kb]

Last updated: 11 March 2016