Presentation on theme: "Campaigning for Equality. The UCU recognises the important impact of the positive equality duties and is striving to use the legislation as widely as."— Presentation transcript:
Campaigning for Equality
The UCU recognises the important impact of the positive equality duties and is striving to use the legislation as widely as possible to further our equality and industrial relations bargaining agenda. The law and collective action
According to HESA the gender pay in HE remains a stubbornly high 13.7% for full-time staff (2006/7) - only a slight decrease from 14.1% the year before. The ethnicity pay gap for the same period was 12.2%. This is why tackling pay gaps in higher education is a priority for the UCU. We have used negotiations and collective action to build on the legislative framework to try and challenge the persistent pay gaps. Equal pay gaps
We believe that carrying out equal pay reviews to highlight pay gaps, the reasons for them and identifying necessary action points is vital in the campaign for equal pay. Carrying out equal pay reviews has been a recommendation of the last two pay settlements in HE. The positive duties also give us some bargaining strength in persuading employers to invest in carrying out such audits – especially the gender duty. Using Equal Pay Reviews
The guidance is written by and for sector It is joint guidance – agreed by the employers and all HE trade unions nationally It recommends partnership working to carry out equal pay reviews- at all stages JNCHES Guidance
The guidance goes beyond the legislation: It recommends covering all equality strands and contractual status for all staff. It is very important to UCU that HP staff, in particular are include in any equal pay review. It recommends identifying all pay gaps – within grades, across grades and across staff groups. JNCHES Guidance cont.
The guidance follows the 3 step approach recommended by (the then) EOC (analysis, diagnosis, action). It also very usefully includes a list of factors that may affect pay gaps, and examples of an equal pay policy and an equal pay checklist. The guidance can be found on the UCU website at ucu.org.uk JNCHES Guidance cont.
Although UCU is very supportive of the JNCHES guidance it is fair to say that there is little evidence of its widespread use across the sector – although this is beginning to change. Some of the barriers we face include: The implementation of partnership working Full analysis not undertaken (e.g. only looking at gaps within grades) Analysis not followed up by diagnosis and action Lack of data Size of task Culture and resistance to change Barriers
UCU also believes that there are opportunities within our Framework Agreement to tackle some of the known causes of the pay gaps in higher education. In addition to having one pay spine and grading structure underpinned by job evaluation / role analysis for all staff the Framework Agreement also provides for provision of: The assimilation of hourly paid staff Shorter grades Staff development and review Promotion criteria Criteria for progression within grades Criteria for the payment of market supplements/ attraction and retention premia Framework Agreement
The UCU has produced extensive materials on the positive equality duties including a Branch Toolkit. In the Toolkit we try to explain the legal framework but also encourage branches to use the legislation as a negotiating tool – both to extend our equality work (e.g. encouraging the extension of the principles of the positive duties to the other equality strands) and in our bargaining agenda. We also encourage involvement in the drawing up of HEIs equality schemes. Using the equality duties
We have projects looking at the public sector equality duties in relation to: The widespread use of bonus payments, Equal pay gaps, Assimilation of sessional (hourly paid) staff and The application of promotion criteria. We are also using the duties to encourage the establishment of regional equality groups Using the Equality Duties cont.
We have had some success in highlighting the need for, and benefit of, impact assessments. We have found that activists respond well to advice on impact assessments where we can demonstrate how they can be used as part of the IR and bargaining agenda. Our training and advice on challenging redundancies for example includes advice on ensuring that impact assessments are demanded and used appropriately. Impact Assessments
The new legal framework is a powerful weapon for trade unions. We need to ensure that our activists are aware of the duties and how they can use them in practical ways to help them achieve their goals. We will also be ensuring that our activists are able to maximise the potential of any proposed legislative changes. Conclusion