IMPACT proposes new merit system to recognise gender pay equality

gender_payIreland’s largest public service trade union, IMPACT, has made two submissions to the Department of Justice and Equality’s consultation process on measures to close the gender pay gap. The consultation period concludes today (Wednesday 4th October).

In its submissions, IMPACT has suggested the development of a nationally recognised badge of achievement for companies and organisations that make genuine efforts towards narrowing their internal pay gaps.

The union has also called for continued cross-party support for the Labour Party’s Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2017, and for gender pay gap reporting to be introduced in the public sector as an immediate first step.

The union has also called for the immediate implementation of action 1.23 in the National Strategy for Women and Girls which aims to “promote wage transparency by requiring companies of 50 or more employees to complete a wage survey periodically and report the results.”

Education

In a separate submission focussed specifically on the union’s education division, IMPACT has demanded improvement in the pay and conditions of the non-teaching staff represented by the union in education professions. Most non-teaching staff in the sector are women.

IMPACT has sought:

  • An independent review into the duties, qualifications and remuneration of special needs assistants, roughly 97% of whom are women
  • A €625 million increase in investment in early years education funding up to 2022. 98% of those working directly with children in the early years sector are women
  • The composition of a comprehensive plan on structures in National Education and Training Boards. IMPACT’s NETB branch is 90% female
  • Job evaluation schemes to be introduced in NETBs and in Institutes of Technology. 88% of IMPACT’s membership in IoTs – most of whom work in administrative grades and library and support roles are women
  • An immediate end to the two-tier pay structure that sees many school secretaries paid from ancillary grants. This will require the introduction of standardised contracts and terms and conditions of employment for all school secretaries. 99% of IMPACT school secretaries are women
  • Proper pension provision for public servants working in School Completion Programmes (SCP). Most of IMPACT’s SCP branch are women.

IMPACT spokesperson Lughan Deane said “IMPACT believes that gender pay gap reporting is the most important immediate step to take in order to narrow the gender pay gap. Transparency will shine a light on the inequity and encourage brands to compete with each other in order to lower their pay gap figures.

“Closing the gender pay gap in the education sector is so important in the first instance because so many non-teaching staff are women. More than this, however, gender pay equality in the education sector will set the right tone for the next generation of students.”

Audio version of this news story.

The IMPACT submission is available here, and IMPACT’s submission on behalf of its Education division is available here.