Unison tackles pay gap for female council staff

The
UK’s biggest trade union has threatened to take legal action over the pay of
female council workers.

Public
sector union Unison will take the cases of tens of thousands of women to
employment tribunals if employers refuse to pay them the same amount as men.

The
campaign, which will mainly involve catering staff, cleaners and nursery
nurses, could see councils facing pay claims dating back several years.

Overall,
men are paid 18 per cent more than women, according to government figures. And
Unison believes that women council staff are particularly hard hit, being paid
less money for work of equal value.

Dave
Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: "We are determined that
councils will honour their legal obligation to their workforce. We would prefer
to deal with it by negotiation, but if the employers refuse we will back legal
action."

The
union has tabled a motion for September’s Trades Union Congress in Brighton to
demand urgent action to close the gender pay gap.

By Mike Berry

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