The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has launched a batch of equal pay claims against the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which could eventually involve thousands of female civil servants and cost millions of pounds.
The PCS is thought to have lodged claims on behalf of 11 personnel, finance and contract management staff.
The union is claiming equal pay between women in the MoD’s equivalent of an executive officer grade and men in the male-dominated instructional officer grade. It claims starting salaries between the two civilian jobs can differ by as much as £5,000, even though the two jobs are in the same pay band.
The PCS represents 18,000 staff in the MoD. Last year, the union successfully won more than 3,300 equal pay cases against the Prison Service.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary said: “It is a sad state of affairs in this day and age that you have pay gaps of nearly £5,000 between men and women who are doing equal work of equal value.
“Civil Service pay is riddled with inequality and inefficiency which is compounded by departments such as the Ministry of Defence seeking to drive down pay by imposing below-inflation pay offers.”
A spokesman for the MoD said it had yet to see the claims, but was satisfied its pay policies did not discriminate on the grounds of gender.