65% of public sector workers are women. GMB says “Tories have a problem with female public sector workers. They just don’t like to see them doing well.”


Women will be the main losers if regional pay cuts are introduced across the public sector, according to the GMB.

(Pictured: GMB health service workers, Sheffield.)

A survey of employment figures to coincide with a debate at the Labour conference scheduled for today indicates female workers make up around 65% of the entire public sector workforce.

The union believes the concentration of female public sector workers in areas such as the West Midlands and the North East, means they are the most likely to be targeted for pay cuts if zonal pay measures favoured by Conservative ministers were introduced.

Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary said: “Women are already bearing disproportionately the burden of this recession.

“Women believe that this Government is making them pay for the economic crisis in Britain rather than the elite in financial sector who caused it.

“What worries women workers in the public sector most is the impact and effect that the governments attack on their earnings will have on their family and in particular the children.”

The employment survey found almost 4.5m out of the total of 6.9m public sector workers are women.

A total of 68.8% of public sector workers in the W Midlands and North West of England are women; in some areas – Redcar, Cleveland and North Lincolnshire – female workers constitute more than 75% of the public sector workforce.

According to the most recent figures in the Annual Population Survey (April 2011-March 2012), public sector workers make up 24% of all workers in the UK.

Supporters of ‘zonal pay’ arrangements claim public sector pay levels have ‘crowded out’ private sector employers in some parts of the country and prevented private sector firms from creating jobs in areas of high unemployment.

However, Paul Kenny is expected to tell delegates at Labour’s Manchester conference: “If regional pay is implemented this will cut pay and be a further devastating blow for local economies across the UK.

“For some reason Tories have a problem with women workers in the public services. They just don’t like to see them doing well.

“Government should be having an economic policy that puts money into people’s pockets, so people can go out and buy goods and services therefore injecting demand in the economy.”

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