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January 10, 2010

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Kay Tie

"But I am aware of at least one case resolved in court in 2006 where 1700 women won a case against cumbria county council for equal pay."

Perhaps they managed to use dodgy statistics to win their case. Or perhaps they used the highly dubious doctrine of "equal value", which equates two completely different jobs on the whim of a (political) bureaucrat.

"For my part, public sector employees should have good pay and conditions and given the nature of private enterprise and their desire to pay as little as possible, the people of this nation should demonstrate how decent employers should treat their staff."

Funny how you moan and whine about the private sector banks paying their staff too much. Or is that the wrong kind of staff?

But then logic and consistency from bitter old Trots really is asking too much. After all, if you could think straight you wouldn't be a bitter old Trot.

HuwOS

"Women's pay has been for decades and more a genuine issue" - HuwOS

"Keep repeating the tired old lies. Women are down-trodden, discriminated against, treated badly by evil (white) men, blah blah blah." - KayTie

Perhaps KayTie, you believe that this was all settled decades ago, too long in the past to be referred to.
The equal pay act did come about in 1970, within a persons working life but at 4 decades distance, perhaps prehistory to KayTie.
But I am aware of at least one case resolved in court in 2006 where 1700 women won a case against cumbria county council for equal pay. Perhaps they were unaware that unequal pay was merely a figment of their imagination, explained entirely by the fact that lots of women with young children would rather not work full time.
Is 2006 too long ago for women's pay to be considered important enough an issue for us to keep our attention on, especially, as KayTie points out, when it is difficult to determine whether there is equality of pay in general or not.

But no, KayTie would rather propagandise for the divisive right, the ones who like to encourage a separation between the public sector, them, and their employers, us.
Between politicians & government, them and the electorate, us.
This nasty little bit of tory politicking is not just a disgrace but inherently dangerous, that KayTie can view the two issues as being similar never mind on any level of parity is simply ludicrous. But those who know KayTie from comments here, know KayTie would claim black to be white and white to be black when it comes to her? right wing ideology.

For my part, public sector employees should have good pay and conditions and given the nature of private enterprise and their desire to pay as little as possible, the people of this nation should demonstrate how decent employers should treat their staff.
It would proved a proper counterpoint to the laissez faire attitude that has long since proven to be disastrous for the majority that KayTie so stubbornly and stupidly supports.

Patrick

A coalition would be a good idea if different groups with different policies existed.
Either one of the Two Tory parties that get elected will do exactly the same job without needing any co-operation.

Tony

And on the issue of the facts rather than party policy ..

Do you suppose that Frank Field actually thinks about the issues involved and makes his mind up based on facts? Rather than the party line ? Nice to think so..

And lets face it - he is interested in child poverty - which has increased under Labour - so maybe he thinks the Tories have a better answer ?

Perhaps a coalition gocernment might work better - then you'd need a broad consensus to implement anything

Kay Tie

Oh, and don't take my word for it that mothers wish to choose. YouGov did a poll on flexible working choices for mothers:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/6278692/What-women-really-want-is-to-be-able-to-make-a-choice.html

Only 12% of mothers wish to work full-time. Part-time work inherently restricts the nature of work. For example, how many jobs are there working for the Labour Party that are part-time? Did you see the hours that Peter Watt put into the party? Getting called by Gordon Brown at 4am, working every day until 11pm. That's not compatible with being a mother and looking after children.

Here's a piece in the Guardian on just this topic:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/17/pay-gap-mothers-children-inequality

If you truly are interested in the "gender gap" Paul then perhaps you need to look into it a bit more (a starting point being, in the absence of Harriet Harman listening to the ONS, to stop listening to Harriet Harman).

Kay Tie

"I have not heard anyone challenge the idea that women have yet to achieve pay parity with men on a universal basis. It's an unexpected argument."

You need to look a bit harder. Firstly, you need to be clear on what "pay parity" means. It doesn't mean "the total amount of money paid to all women equals the total amount of money paid to all men". It means (or, rather, should mean) that being a man or a woman has no bearing on the pay you receive for doing the same job. By that measure, we are very close to pay parity: the observed differences in pay come largely from career choices of mothers, not discrimination against women (indeed, there is very little difference in observed pay levels between non-mothers and men). In other words, a large part of the so-called 'gender pay gap' comes from choices in working arrangements to suit families, not because of oppression by top-hatted evil capitalist bosses.

From the ONS:

"The 2009 gender pay gap for full-time employees is 12.2 per cent, down from 12.6 per cent in 2008, comparing median hourly earnings excluding overtime. For part-time employees the gap is -2.0 per cent (the figure for women is 2.0 per cent higher than the figure for men) compared with -3.7 per cent in 2008."

Crucially:

"ONS recently reviewed the way it presents gender pay statistics. The review concluded that there was no single measure which adequately dealt with the complex issue of measuring the differences in men’s and women’s pay."

and:

"Including overtime can distort the picture as men work relatively more overtime than women. Although median and mean hourly pay excluding overtime provide useful comparisons of men’s and women’s earnings, they do not reveal differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs. This is because such measures do not allow for the different employment characteristics of men and women, such as the proportion in different occupations and their length of time in jobs."

Read that last bit again: "they do not reveal differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs."

Most child care is undertaken by women. It's a fact of nature, no matter how much people like Harriet Harman kick against it. And couples willingly choose for it to be this way, no matter what draconian social engineering Harriet Harman tries.

Looking after children requires highly flexible work, which rules out many jobs where this is not practical (example: Tony Blair did not start working part-time as Prime Minister to start looking after Leo, allowing Cherie Blair to work full-time).

It would be good for Ben Goldacre to look at these facts and demolish the dodgy statistics that Harriet Harman uses to support her case for social engineering (the ONS has already warned her about using distorting statistics):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8096761.stm

And the ONS report:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/paygap1109.pdf

Paul Flynn

Perhaps I did Ben Goldacre an injustice by summarising his article in a couple of sentences. The full original is very convincing. KayTie, I have not heard anyone challenge the idea that women have yet to achieve pay parity with men on a universal basis. It's an unexpected argument.

Kay Tie

"Women's pay has been for decades and more a genuine issue"

Keep repeating the tired old lies. Women are down-trodden, discriminated against, treated badly by evil (white) men, blah blah blah.

Why does Harriet Harman keep quoting differentials between part-time women and full-time men? Why not part-time men and part-time women? Because it gives the number needed to justify the pre-determined conclusion. Huw demonstrates that the policy is settled, it's just the evidence that has to fall into line. How very New Labour of you, Huw.

You might as well say there's institutional discrimination at the heart of the Government because part-time women cabinet ministers are paid less than full-time men cabinet ministers. Shocking! The Prime Minister should resign!

Tony

Well the public sector pay 'remit' for 2010 has been set at about 1% (guideline of sorts)
This contrasts with the private sector where salary freezes or reductions seem more usual (except for the banks of course)

HuwOS

Our little miss Kaytie always staunch in defence of the popular right wing lies over and above anything else.
Women's pay has been for decades and more a genuine issue, perhaps it is not now but keeping it front and centre is no bad thing.
On the other hand public sector pay is not and has not been running ahead of the private sector but it suits the right wing election machine to claim that it is now, trusting to the prevailing anti democracy anti public sector anti politician and anti government morass that we are currently in.
A political party that trusts to such misinformation, is not doing the state, democracy or the people of this country any good. While it might be good for that party in the short term such an approach will be bad for everyone in the long run.
But to KayTie, the two different and differing claims are the same, a certain bias at work from her too of course.


Kay Tie

If you're interested in pay comparisons that are cobblers you'll no doubt be wanting to debunk the "gender gap" statistics spouted by Harriet Harman?The ones where we're invited to conclude how downtrodden women are by comparing part-time women with full-time men, by drawing false "equal value" comparisons, and omitting to adjust for motherhood career breaks.

I wonder why Ben Goldacre hasn't turned his analytical skills to that? Surely it's just as interesting to Guardian readers? Or do they prefer only selective debunking? I think Ben Goldacre could find a phrase for that: "confirmation bias."

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