University of Bristol and Bristol UCU commit to eliminate the gender pay gap

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By Lucy Downer, Deputy News Editor

The two organisations show a united front on reducing the University’s 16.2% gender pay gap

Following the release of a joint statement from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hugh Brady and the President of the Bristol branch of University and College Union (UCU), Tracy Hooper, a new, united commitment has been made to eliminate the gender pay gap at the University of Bristol.

According to the University’s 2018 Gender Pay Gap Report, there is currently a 16.2% median gender pay gap at the University. Though below the UK wide average of 18.4%, this disparity is one which the University and the UCU are now committed to reducing.

Amongst staff, the lower pay quartile is made up of 69% women, compared to the upper pay quartile which is made up of 41% women. With a majority of female staff overall at the university at 55%, the pay gap has been shown to be largely the result of a higher concentration of women in lower graded roles.

Both the university and the Bristol branch of UCU have acknowledged the slow pace of change around the gender pay gap at Bristol, and are committing to further action.

In their joint statement they said:

‘The University of Bristol and UCU recognise that, although the gender pay gap needs to be tackled across the whole of the University, there are a number of cultural, structural and policy issues which affect women academic staff in particular. For this reason, the University has agreed to engage in time-limited negotiations with UCU with a view to agreeing actions, including setting appropriate targets, to significantly reduce the gender pay gap among academic staff within three years.’

The ‘actions’ and ‘appropriate targets’ have yet to be finalized or released, however, it is clear that intentions have been set to close the long-standing gender pay gap that exists within the University of Bristol.

The statement went on to suggest a school-specific response to the gender pay gap might be taken, stating:

‘The University of Bristol agrees to provide leadership across and within schools and to commit resources, support and guidance to achieve this objective.’

Again, specific resources, support and guidance have not yet been outlined, Epigram contacted the University for more information but as the project plan is not yet finalised, they have said that there are no extra details at present.

Negotiations are set to be completed by December 2018, with any agreed outcomes forming part of the University-wide Action Plan of the Gender Pay Gap Working Group.

Featured Image: Bristol University


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