Hastings college ‘named and shamed’ over gender pay gap

27/4/11- Sussex Coast College, Hastings SUS-150521-095036001
27/4/11- Sussex Coast College, Hastings SUS-150521-095036001

A union has accused Sussex Coast College of having one of the biggest gender pay gaps in further education in England.

The University and College Union (UCU) today (Tuesday) has published a new report highlighting those colleges that pay their female staff less than men for doing the same job.

The report, Holding Down Women’s Pay, names and shames Sussex Coast College Hastings for paying their female employees at significantly lower rates.

Sussex Coast College Hastings is ranked 20th in a league table of the top 30 English further education colleges with the biggest gender pay gaps.

The report claims the college pays female lecturers an average £1,720 less a year than their male colleagues.

At nearly two-thirds (132 out of 203) of the English further education colleges that provided data to UCU, male lecturers are paid on average £1,000 more than women.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “This college should not have allowed such shameful levels of pay inequality to persist.

“It’s nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and they’re still flying in the face of it.

“Today, on International Women’s Day, we’d like to see a firm commitment from sector leaders to close the gap and are offering to work with colleges to put an end to pay inequality.”

UCU compiled the gender pay figures using its new online tool, Rate for the Job, which allows members to make comparisons between pay rates at colleges and universities.

A spokesperson from Sussex Coast College Hastings said: “The figures which UCU have published have been interpreted in a way which Sussex Coast College does not believe is a true reflection of pay for our staff.

“All lecturing staff are placed on the same pay scale, regardless of their gender.

“There are a number of factors, which may not have been considered by UCU, which could affect pay within any organisation; for example, the number of part-time staff.

“Large proportions of our female staff have a number of caring responsibilities outside of work and therefore choose to work on a part-time basis.

“Sussex Coast College values all of its employees and encourages them to develop and progress within the organisation; offering opportunities and professional development throughout their careers with us.

“The college has a transparent recruitment and selection process, and offers all its employees support through our range of policies and benefits during their employment.”

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