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TUC launches training to promote equal pay


The Trades Union Congress have set out plans to train 500 equal pay representatives to deal with the gender pay gap. The reps are intended to work in much the same way as union health and safety reps, but encouraging pay reviews. The TUC supported the EOC's Independent Equal Pay Taskforce, which called for statutory pay reviews. The reps will be trained through 22 courses, starting in Bristol on 7th January. 500 will be trained by the end of August.

The Equal Pay Act has been in force for thirty years, but on average women earn only 82% of men's salaries (61% for part-time working women).

TUC General Secretary, John Monks, said: "The long campaign for equal pay has made progress down the years but we still have more to do. The efforts of these reps is going to make a real difference to individual women's pay and their collective efforts are going to make a real difference to tackling discrimination at work."

The TUC's training will take place:
In Bristol 7th - 9th January
In Southampton 14th - 16th January & 12th - 14th March
In North London 15th - 17th January, 20th - 22nd February & 27th - 29th
In Bridgend 15th, 22nd, 29th January
In Liverpool 22nd - 24th January
In Carlisle 22nd - 24th January
In Leeds 22nd, 29th January & 5th February
In Ipswich 30th January - 1st February
In Bradford 30th January - 1st February & 25th March - 27th March
In Glasgow 13th - 15th February
In Dunstable 13th - 15th February
In Birmingham 20th - 22nd February
In Manchester 25th - 27th February
In Norwich 27th February - 1st March
In Cambridge 6th March - 8th March
In Derby 19th - 21st March
In Falkirk 14th, 21st, and 28th March
In Newcastle 25th - 27th March

Data on employment and pay for women, from the TUC:

How many women work?
In 2000, women accounted for 47% of people employed in the UK (this includes HM forces), or 11.5 million out of a total of 24.4 million people employed. The latest figures (Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, May - July 2001.) show that 69% of women of working age in the UK are in employment.

What kind of work do women do?
Women's employment is highly concentrated by occupation; over 60% of women work in 10 occupations (out of 77 recognised occupations). Of all women workers:
Sales assistants and checkout operators 10.2%
Other sales and services 7.5%
Numerical clerks 6.8%
Secretaries, personal assistants, typists 6.3%
Health related occupations 6.0%
Teaching professionals 5.8%
Health associate professionals 5.4%
Clerks not classified elsewhere 4.7%
Childcare and related occupations 4.2%
Catering occupations 3.6%
(Kingsmill Report 2001)

How much do women get paid?
Full-timers in these ten occupations earned 78% of the average hourly pay of male full-timers while part-timers earned 57% (Kingsmill Report 2001).

Overall, women working full-time earn 82 per cent of full-time male earnings, a pay gap of 18 per cent. Women working part-time earned only 61 per cent of the male full-time wage, a pay gap of some 39 per cent (New Earnings Survey).

Is the pay gap the same, all across the country?

On average, the gender pay gap in the South West is the largest (women earn 73% of men's wages), while Wales (79%) and London (80%) have the smallest gap. The rest of the UK is a follows:
Scotland 77%
North East 75%
North West 78%
Yorkshire and Humberside 78%
East Midlands 78%
West Midlands 78%
East of England 74%
South East 74%
South West 73%
(Labour Force Survey 2000)

Workplace equal pay representatives will be drawn from across the unions and their training accredited through TUC education awarding body, the national Open College Network. By the end of their course they will be capable of furthering pay parity in their own workplaces, particularly
through the use of pay reviews in partnership with employers.

The Equal Opportunities Commission have set a target for fifty per cent of large employers (those with more than 500 workers) to have carried out a pay review by the end of 2003, and 25% of the remaining employers (those with fewer than 500 workers) should have done so by the end of 2005.


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