Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Sex discrimination in pay

When I joined the civil service in 1960, the unions were still celebrating the recently achieved aim of "equal pay for equal work". This blessed situation continued until the Thatcher-Heseltine "reforms" of the 1980s, when many government functions were devolved to agencies and even further to private companies.

The latter were not bound by agreements reached between the civil service trade unions and the government. They no doubt ran a tighter, more entrepreneurial shop, but they also had the scope to save money on working conditions and by paying female staff less. New Labour, far from restoring the balance when it came to power in 1997, has extended the outsourcing of government work.

I was reminded of this by Sarah Teather's recent statement.

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