St Helens councillor calls for progress to be made on gender pay gap

Many women are paid less than men for doing the same job.
Many women are paid less than men for doing the same job.
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A Labour councillor has challenged the council to make “significant progress” in reducing the local authority’s gender pay gap.

From 2017, any organisation that has 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap.

Details of St Helens Council’s gender pay gap can be found in its Pay Policy Statement 2019-20, which was approved by full council on Wednesday.

Females represent 68.1 per cent of the council’s total workforce, with males representing 30.9 per cent.

At March 31, 2018 the mean hourly rate across the council was £12.06.

For women the rate was £11.71 and for men it was £12.83, meaning there is mean gender pay gap of 8.7 per cent, which is unchanged from the previous year.

The median hourly rate across the council, at March 31, 2018, was £10.44.

The median rate for both men and women was also £10.44, meaning there is no gender pay gap. In 2017 there was a median gender pay gap of 6.9 per cent.

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting, council leader Derek Long said the local authority has made “some progress” in reducing its gender pay gap, acknowledging the improvement to the median rate of pay.

Coun Long said the council will continue to work with trade unions to reduce the gap as “best we can”.

Newton-le-Willows Labour councillor Jeanie Bell said there are “no congratulations” in order while a gender pay gap remains, and said she wanted to see “significant progress” in reducing it by 2020.

Coun Jeanie Bell said: “We have a gender pay gap and we need to not have one.

“So, I would like to see some significant progress on that next yet.

“And although we’ve got to congratulate ourselves for every little step that we make, actually while there is a gap, there is no congratulations.

“So let’s see some movement next year please.”