A message from Roger

The UCU general secretary ballot result has now been declared and Sally Hunt has been elected. The union and our members face major and difficult challenges from employers and government in almost every aspect of our working lives. The turnout was just 13.9 per cent which in itself suggests the scale of the challenge the union faces. I wish Sally Hunt very well in meeting those challenges. To meet them successfully will require a clear strategic vision and a determined articulate response which members can have confidence in and ownership of. I will seek to play my part in ensuring that is the case through my continuing role as Head of Equality and Employment Rights Finally I would like to sincerely thank the hundreds of members who sent messages of support and campaigned during the election.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Thursday 8th March

International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, just one month before the new positive Gender Duty comes into force, here are eight facts from UCU’s Comprehensive Spending Review submission.

1. In 2005, for higher education teaching professionals, for every £1 earned by a male, their female colleagues earned 83 pence.

2. For further education teaching professionals, for every £1 earned by a male, their female colleagues earned 87 pence.

3. Female academics are more likely than males to be on a fixed-term contract.

4. In pre-1992 universities nearly half of staff on the most junior lecturer grade were women, but only 14% of professors were women.

5. Around one-third of further education staff in 2003-4 were employed on a casual basis, with at least 50% of part-time lecturers employed on hourly-paid temporary contracts.

6. In higher education 45% of all academics in 2003-4 were employed on a fixed-term contract – including 91% of researchers

7. Cuts in ESOL and adult education impact disproportionately on women staff and women learners.

8. Over the period 1998-2001 the public sector gender pay gap marginally narrowed, from 20% to 19%. For university and polytechnic teaching professionals and for higher and further education teaching professionals, the pay gap fluctuated, but was considerably wider in 2001 than in 1998.

Over the period 2002-5, the gender pay gap fluctuated around the 18% mark for public sector employees. For both higher and further education teaching professionals, the gap narrowed between 2002 and 2004, but then widened in 2005.

The challenge

Pay levels and contractual status are only two elements of a raft of inequalities affecting every aspect of women’s working lives in education

Since, for starters, many institutions in post 16 education have completely failed to meet their obligation to consult with trade unions on the implementation of the gender duty, never mind implement proper equal pay reviews, there is a very very big challenge ahead.

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A trade unionist all his working life. An activist and a proud campaigner, Roger has consistently worked to defend human rights of workers. As the leader of the Equality and Employment Rights team in the newly formed UCU he continues to unite the movement around equality and keep employment rights at the top of the agenda.