Gender pay gap

UCU published its latest report on the gender pay gap in HE on 17 May 2017.

Branches are encouraged to submit an audit claim to management, and QMUCU submitted ours to HR on 23 May 2017 as follows:

“Our UCU branch has resolved to pursue a local campaign to close the gender pay gap at QMUL. According to UCU research, the gender pay gap, as it currently stands, is 14% for academics.

UCU is determined to close the Gender Pay Gap. Despite the Equal Pay Act being in existence for over 30 years, female academics at QMUL still earn 14% less than male academics. This pay discrimination can be bad for reputation, bad for staff morale, and could also mean that our university is potentially liable to equal pay and discrimination claims at employment tribunals.

There are different reasons for the existence of the gender pay gap, but there exists a general consensus that the best way to check for discrepancies or discrimination in pay systems is to carry out an equal pay audit or review, jointly analyse the results and then devise a joint action plan to tackle discrimination.

UCU therefore requests that a new audit be carried out. The timing of our request should be convenient to you as it coincides with the gender pay gap reporting required in legislation. However, we are asking QM to go beyond the statutory duties and look into gender pay differentials at QM in more depth. Data gathering and monitoring should be embedded now, rather than deferred to an unspecified point in the future.

The audit should include:

  • The three types of equal work described in the EHRC code of practice ( like work, work rated as equivalent under an evaluation scheme and work of equal value)
  • All rewards e.g. basic pay, bonus payments, specialist allowances, shift allowances, overtime, annual leave entitlement, sick leave entitlement, performance related pay.
  • Both median and mean data presented and numbers and percentages.
  • The distribution of men, women and non-binary people across and within pay grades, distribution of part-time staff across and within grades, gender profile of part-time staff, median earnings of men, women and non-binary people within each grade and on entry to each pay grade and at 5 year intervals and age and length of service of men and women within pay grades.
  • Data to specify the proportion of men, women and non-binary people on open ended permanent, fixed term (part & full time) and hourly paid contracts;
  • Identification of any pay gaps of men, women and non-binary people doing equal work and well explained reasons for the gaps;
  • Data on the amount of unpaid overtime undertaken by men, women and non-binary people
  • Assessment of age groupings of pay differentials;
  • Assessment of how specific occupational groupings may contribute to the gap;
  • Analysis of any variances in starting pay and variances in the rate of progression through the pay scales between men, women and non-binary people;
  • Age and length of service within pay grades;

Once the audit has been provided UCU would like to jointly analyse the results and formulate an agreed action plan to tackle identified issues.

The action plan should include monitoring, implementation and review processes

UCU members are very interested in sitting down with management to discuss this in more detail. In particular we formally request the carrying out of an equal pay review of all staff within the next six months.

I trust that you will consider this request and look forward to discussing this with management at the earliest opportunity.”

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