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#DM18: Stopping the gender pay gap

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23 April 2018


A major campaign to prioritise a union-wide campaign to end discrimination in pay and opportunities for women journalists and the launch of a NUJ Women network was voted for by DM.

A motion from the national executive council, proposed by general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, noted “the long overdue spotlight cast on the scourge of pay inequity” by the new regulations forcing employers with more than 250 workers to publish data on the difference in pay and bonuses between the sexes.

The union has been in the vanguard of defending members following the publication by the BBC of its highest earners, which revealed only a third of those earning more than £150,000 were women. The union has now lodged more than 180 equal pay cases on behalf of NUJ members, which has inspired many other cases, and successful settlements, at workplaces elsewhere in the industry.

The creation of a network of NUJ Women will include events and virtual webinars to raise awareness.

The motion recognised it was vital that the whole trade union movement needs to lead on equal pay and the gender pay gap from the front and in this light the NUJ published its gender pay data and will be encouraging greater transparency from organisations with fewer than 250 employers.

A number of measures were proposed, including the training of more equality reps and providing reps with training, support and campaign resources to “make this an industrial priority negotiating action plans with employers and sharing experiences to create best practice models designed to combat discrimination in NUJ workplaces”.

The campaign will involve negotiating improved family friendly policies and flexible working and seeking commitment from employers to more part-time working and job sharing, particularly for senior positions that are too often dominated by men.

The motion in full:
This DM notes the long overdue spotlight that has been cast on the scourge of pay inequity and unfair recruitment practices through the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s implementation of the gender pay regulations. Disclosures of this data, which were compulsory for all companies with over 250 staff from April 2018, has led to focussed attention on the rampant inequalities in pay that exist across the UK, revealing a disturbing problem in media companies in particular.

DM welcomes the fact that these revelations have led to a significant spike in the number of equal pay cases being lodged by NUJ members, across a range of workplaces and sectors. DM notes that the forced publication of the high earners list by the BBC last summer has resulted in significant levels of organisation and recruitment around this important issue, and congratulates all those involved in the work which has resulted in over 180 equal pay cases being lodged on behalf of NUJ members to date, currently at varying stages of negotiation and resolution. DM further notes that this has in turn inspired many other cases, and successful settlements, at workplaces around the union.

DM believes that it is vital that the whole trade union movement leads on equal pay and the gender pay gap from the front. It welcomes the NUJ’s publication of its own gender pay gap data, and its commitment to working with all three staff unions to continually monitor and address the gap that exists, despite not being required to under the legislation. DM calls for this transparent and voluntarist strategy to be adopted throughout the movement and by media companies with fewer than 250 staff.

Therefore this DM instructs the NEC to:

  • Prioritise a union-wide campaign to end discrimination in pay and opportunities for women journalists, mobilising organisation and recruitment around this vital issue amongst existing chapels and greenfield sites.
  • Launch a network of NUJ Women, including events and virtual webinars to raise awareness and campaign around equal pay and eradication of the gender pay gap.
  • Encourage the use of equal pay surveys to ascertain the scale of the problem within workplaces across the UK and Ireland.
  • Secure greater transparency of reporting in organisations of all sizes, monitoring the issue across the media industry and ensuring chapels can effectively hold companies to account.
  • Provide reps with training, support and campaign resources to make this an industrial priority  negotiating action plans with employers and sharing experiences to create best practice models designed to combat discrimination in NUJ workplaces.
  • Work to encourage women’s reps and equality reps on all chapel committees, and to secure NUJ representation on any company-initiated networks set up to address.
  • Encourage reps to work to negotiate more transparent recruitment practices and company commitment to unconscious bias training.
  • Demand transparent and fair salary structures.
  • Ensure ongoing analysis and sharing of data by employers, and push to ensure companies provide narratives of their pay gap problems and commit to action plans to address.
  • Negotiate improved family friendly policies.
  • Demand meaningful commitments to flexible working and practical measures to achieve work-life balance.
  • Seek commitments to part-time working and job sharing, particularly for senior positions that are too often dominated by men.
  • Campaign to end forced freelancing which is an unwelcomeoutcome for many women returning from maternity leave.Work to secure a meaningful change in workplace culture.
  • Provide best practice templates and toolkits in order to eradicate the scourge of unequal pay and opportunities in the media industry.
  • Tackle pernicious inequality and work with the NUJ’s parliamentary group, the TUC and the ICTU to extend the provisions of the currently limited gender pay gap regulations.

Tags: , equality, pay, gender pay, gender pay gap, discrimination, equality reps training, flexible working, family friendly, bbc, equal pay, Equality and Human Rights Commission, gender pay regulations, #DM18, dm2018