Equal Pay for Equal Work

  • An Equal Pay for Equal Work;
  • A flat rate increase in wages to the benefit of low and middle income earners. (as opposed to an undifferentiated % increase which maintains existing pay inequalities);
  • A fair job evaluations system for female dominated jobs and upgrade them to the pay of similar jobs mainly carried out by men;
  • A pay transparency system, implementing fair corrective measures to deal with pay discrepancies. For instance to ensure maternity leave doesn’t have any negative impact on career development and wages.
  • Women joining a trade union - the wage gap among union members is less than half of the wage gap among non-union workers.

“The gender pay gap is painful and unjust” said Montserrat Mir, Confederal Secretary at the ETUC, “and carries a high human and economic cost. (…) Equal pay would be the greatest economic stimulus package that Europe has ever seen, and lift millions of women out of poverty.”

“Lower pay also means lower pensions. By narrowing the gender pay gap, we would also help narrow the gender pension gap which condemns many women to poverty in old age.”

“Collective bargaining is the best way to achieve decent pay rises and pay transparency.” Being covered by a collective agreement is the best way to achieve decent pay. All across Europe we need to extent the coverage of collective bargaining or rebuild collective bargaining structures previously destroyed.

Unless action is taken to speed up equal pay, women will continue to work around 2 months for FREE each year as they earn 16% less than men per hour in the EU. One reason is that women find it harder to reconcile work and family obligations. As a result, part-time work, mini jobs and career breaks are more common for women, and have a direct impact on wages. In order to help women to better reconcile work and family obligations as well as improve their job situation we need appropriate legislative measures and provisions in collective agreements, i.e. recognition of periods of leave (maternity leave) in collective agreements; rise of lower wages by flat rate increase; family-friendly working time arrangements and the creation of sufficient full-time jobs as well as periods of leave for further education and training to ensure that women get better qualified and thus improve their career development.

Women are entitled to live an independent and self-determined life in the same way as men. IndustriAll European Trade Union welcomes the ETUC campaign 'Europe needs a pay rise’ calling for pay rises for all workers across Europe, and for the closing of unjustified pay gaps including the gender pay gap.

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