News in brief

Women win £37m payout

Millions of pounds in compensation will be paid out to thousands of women in the North East after an agreement was finally reached in an eight-year equal pay battle. Unions have secured an agreement with five North East councils, which will cost the authorities a total of £37m. In some cases, women were being paid half the wage of male counterparts on the same grade.

Skills drive pay inflation

Skills shortages are driving a sharp rise in pay inflation, according to research. The Report on Jobs, by Deloitte HR consultants, showed that the availability of candidates for vacancies fell for the 17th month in a row. Pay inflation went up at the fastest rate for three months, reflecting a strong demand for staff and shortages of suitable candidates to fill vacant positions.

Maths will close pay gap

Encouraging more girls to study science and maths so they can take up careers with higher paid jobs is the key to closing the gender pay gap, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Reacting to the Trade and Industry Committee’s report on occupational segregation, the CBI warned that focusing on compulsory pay audits could divert attention from more effective solutions.

GMB secretary quits post

Kevin Curran has quit as general secretary of the GMB union three weeks after being suspended from its executive committee. The union said an amicable agreement had been reached with Curran and the decision was in the “best interests” of the wider trade union movement.

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