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Siu Index
April/May 2007 No 66

Statutory pay audits needed in public and private sector

UNISON backed an STUC statement welcoming statutory pay audits in the public sector and calling for the law to be extended to the private sector.

UNISON's Kate Ramsden told delegates, "It has taken more than 30 years to get to the stage we are at now on equal pay. "Without mandatory pay audits for all, employers will not make essential progress in the private sector. Low paid women workers deserve that policy commitment".

Kate stressed "the vital role that UNISON and other unions have had in fighting for equal pay. "We are angry at suggestions from some quarters that unions, along with politicians and employers have somehow let women down or failed them on equal pay issues to date. That attitude is insulting to all of us".

Without trade unions the cause of equal pay would never have been advanced. "It was the unions that were driving force behind the negotiations on equal pay in the NHS", she said.

She slammed attempts in local government to introduce single status 'on the cheap' and made it clear that, "Where employers will not negotiate acceptable agreements, we will take legal action and UNISON is currently pursuing thousands of claims for Scottish members in local government and the NHS", said Kate.

Kate demanded the Scottish Executive should fund equal pay in local government in the way commitments were made in Agenda For Change in the Health Service.

UNISON had pointed out to Audit Scotland that it should be using its statutory powers to ensure council spending plans comply with equal pay law.

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