5 Jul 2010

Public sector pay changes hit women hardest

I mentioned here before the disproportionate impact of a public sector pay freeze on women workers. The same, of course, goes for public sector redundancy changes and pension changes.

The current public sector workforce is about 75 per cent female. It’s 77 per cent women in the NHS, 87 per cent in primary schools, 73 per cent in local government. And when the pay freeze finishes, there could be a complete re-think in national pay awards coming down the line behind it.

The government has already flagged up that possibility for police and teachers. The cabinet secretary called in the pay review bodies recently… presumably they were told to hibernate?

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11 reader comments

  1. Tom says:

    Have any of the Political Parties distinguished themselves in either the Banking Crisis or the subsequent debacles like civil service cuts which have resulted from it? For years and during the recent election not a word… but now this. Somebody is taking the UK public for mugs. We deserve considerably better. Serving Civil Servant – Name witheld out of genuine fear

  2. Saltaire Sam says:

    And the ultimate irony is that the men at the top will keep their big salaries and perks. It is shameful that women still don’t have equality in the workplace, the church and many other parts of our society. Come on, ladies, time to renew the fight – you’ll be amazed how many of us men are behind you.

    1. paul begley says:

      Apparently, a very long way “behind you” in the competition for public sector jobs!

  3. margaretbj says:

    There are more women in the UK than men in total.

    Lets hope the private take over will more than compensate for our dwindling spending power.

    For several years now I have been thinking of the basics I need to survive and what can be home grown or home manufactured ..Some havn’t even a garden despite having large cars and 10 bedroomed houses. Its always back to basics for survival. Water, land , shelter, salix trees, digitalis and other herbs and salt. Perhaps that is where we are heading.

  4. Tom Wright says:

    What are you proposing Gary? That 50% of job cuts in the public sector should be men so that it is “proportionate”.

    If there’s a place for outrage here, it’s against the sexist employment practises of the public sector – clearly they are discriminating against men.

  5. Andrew Dundas says:

    Many more women than men voted Conservative or Lib-Dem in May. It was Labour’s loss of the women’s vote that did for them.
    Perhaps women should be asking why Cameron & Clegg didn’t tell them about the pay and job cuts they planned?

  6. Saltaire Sam says:

    So Michael Gove is cuttng the school building programme, concentating, he claims, on getting better teachers.

    Seems sensible, except does he really expect the best teachers to turn their back on well maintained private schools and the best of the state schools to go and teach in tatty temporary huts?

    Once again this government is making savings at the expense of the poorest.

    And how will laying off all those building workers help the economy recover?

    Meanwhile, the same slash and burn government is committing £12m PLUS security costs to the visit of the pope.

    We live in an Alice in Wonderland World.

    1. Tom Wright says:

      Under Labour’s spending rules, schools with performance issues and those with disadvantaged children were the ones targeted for building improvements. Schools rated outstanding struggled to get any additional funding at all.

      Teaching salaries are also higher in schools with tougher challenges.

      I have sympathy with both views – Labour’s approach of putting the money where it was most needed was right. But Gove is also right – teaching is something that teachers do, not buildings.

  7. Saltaire Sam says:

    I thought the government was supposed to live within the law.

    Public sector workers were given their jobs with certain conditions attached, including what would happen if they were made redundant.

    Now the government is proposing to break those contracts and enforce new, less-beneficial deals.

    So why don’t we all go down the same path in the name of making essential cuts. I too need to reduce my costs, so perhaps I’ll make a new deal on what I pay in terms of tax.

    If they can change the rules as they go along, why not us?

  8. Saltaire Sam says:

    Gary, hs the government said how they decided which school rporjects have been cut? By my calculation just over 24% are in the North East.

    Presumably this is Mr Cameron sticking to his word that the NE is ripe for cuts.

    The small area around Stockton, Darlington, Hartlepool and Redcar – an area of high unemployment and low incomes, seems to be losing more than the whole of Kent.

    Interestingly among the projects ‘unaffected’ are those in East & West Sussex, Westminster, Islington, Lewishman, Richmond upon Thames, Bath and North Somerset, Bristol and Nick Clegg’s Sheffield.

    And that despite the fact that the schools in all but the last of those are probably already in pretty good condition.

  9. Roger M Rogers says:

    If goverment and councils want to save many millions of pounds all they have to do is stop paying out thousands of pounds each week advertising jobs in newspapers and put them all in the job centres and on their own websites Hampshire as an example could save a few million each year.

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