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Council figures look good after they outsource mostly female staff on minimum and low wages

Labour Responds to this story in The Shuttle about gender Pay at WFDC calling it “hardly a women’s world”:

http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/15997528.Pay_figures_show_it___s_a_woman___s_world_at_Wyre_Forest_District_Council/

Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour said “The Shuttle story about WFDC & women’s pay being more than men fails to factor in the number of outsourced jobs the council funds. It’s hardly a women’s world for female cleaners, catering & leisure workers, etc - these are now agency staff and on minimum and low wage. So, of course the council figures look good, they’ve removed a number of bottom rungs of mostly female staff who would otherwise sit below those lower paid manual and mostly male workers eg refuse collectors. Equal pay claims have centred around parity for cleaners verses refuse collectors as Work of same value. Eg Birmingham. Plus, the rates for the actual council staff left are determined by union collective pay bargaining that the Tories would prefer to ditch.

It’s actually really great there are more women in good paid top jobs but the pay figures are actually skewed. Nathan Desmond & Co have gotten away with more or less gloating about their ‘policy’ without being challenged on the reality of throwing those really low paid women workers from council employment rights to now being at the mercy of agency contractors. Those contractors don’t have much by the way of gender or pay parity versus their male dominated management.

Outsourcing is the real story here, and the lack of employment rights and pay parity for those female workers now ‘employed’ by such council funded contractors. If the Tories, including our Tory MP who has claimed for 8 years he wants to address Wyre Forest’s low pay, can start putting that house in order, then overall things might improve. So, how about the council looking at ensuring a proper living wage in its dealings with contractors? That, and returning services in-house so workers come under collective pay bargaining by the unions. Only then will they be able to properly address the gender pay issue in a fair way.”

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