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Equal pay/ treatment

(77 Posts)
VelvetSpoon Sat 10-Feb-18 13:24:25

I was discussing this earlier in the week woth some colleagues (in light of the Tesco case) and it has reawoken a lot of my internal anger over this issue.

I know that I have been paid less than men for years. I have always worked in places where discussion of salaries was a disciplinary offence. But I knew others mainly men were paid more for the same job.

It's not just the pay. I've been a single parent for years, no family support. I used to regularly get threatened with disciplinary action if I ever arrived to work late. I was told that my team didn't take me seriously and complained about me because I was a parent. I NEVER asked for not was given a single concession to the fact I had kids.

A few years on and people I work with
now (mainly men) are all working from home or leaving early for theor kids swimming galas and presentations at the drop of a hat. And it really pisses me off that as a single parent (none of them are) I never had any of these concessions.

Plus they earn more than me. Which according to the discussion with my colleagues is because I'm a poor negotiator. Not because men get offered more pay, or join the company in a more senior position (when I joined I was told I couldn't join at X level. 3 months later, 2 men that level!). Oh and when I tried to explain that being a lone parent (No family, and no money from their father) is a really vulnerable position, apparently that's no worse than it is for men who are the breadwinner while their wives are SAHMs.

AIBU to be annoyed by this conversation, how I've been treated in the past and indeed the whole fucking situation? I earn a lot, so I know there are women on £20k a year who are much worse off than me. But I was earning £30k in 1998. Twenty years on, I'm still not earning double that (whereas my male peers are on £75k And up)

lesDeuxAlps Sat 10-Feb-18 13:31:26

'"The TESCO case" is misleading though, isn't it.

Different jobs were paying different amounts. Women and men were free to apply for either but tended not to. How this is discrimination I'll never know.

"when I joined I was told I couldn't join at X level. 3 months later, 2 men that level!"

What does this prove?

" I was earning £30k in 1998. Twenty years on, I'm still not earning double that (whereas my male peers are on £75k And up)"

What does this prove?

Maybe you a are a poor negotiator (and why should anyone else suffer?) or maybe you're not as good as they are.

"it really pisses me off that as a single parent (none of them are) I never had any of these concessions. "

Did you ask? How long ago was it? Has anything changed in the interim? Company structure, IT, legislation?

VelvetSpoon Sat 10-Feb-18 13:43:33

I was told company policy was that they did not recruit managers. Managers had to be promoted from within. 3 months later 2 men with no greater experience or capability joined in managerial roles.

What that proves is that I was fed bullshit.

And why should I be paid less than a man because I'm a poor negotiate? I'm excellent at my job and have considerable experience. Shouldn't that be the criteria of relevance?

I didn't ask for concessions because it was made very clear they were not available. As an example I used to drop my children off at 7.55, the earliest permitted time. My journey to work on an average day was 50 mins. On a bad day an hour. On a very bad day, maybe once every 4 weeks it took over an hour making me 5 mins or so late. I worked every lunch hour anyway. I always 'made up' lateness. But I was still told that if I couldn't get in by 9, I might consider giving up work. Before I was subject to a disciplinary...

Of course things have changed now for the people with young kids. But they're still paid more than me too.

Whatshallidonowpeople Sat 10-Feb-18 13:47:46

Why are you telling all these people you are a single parent if you aren't looking for preferential treatment?

Whatshallidonowpeople Sat 10-Feb-18 13:50:13

I am a single parent. I didn't start work until 1998 when I earny £12.5k I now earn over 5 times that. Perhaps you are not a good negotiator or others are better at their jobs?

VelvetSpoon Sat 10-Feb-18 13:56:31

I didn't tell people I was a single parent for preferential treatment. Which I never got Anyway, unlike now when parents get plenty.

How are you supposed to negotiate as a single parent when you have s mortgage to pay and an employer says the salary for ypur role is X? However much I wanted for the job if it's take the money or not I clearly don't have a choice.

If he pays men more because they have a cock and balls that's hardly fair is It?

For the record the men at my level don't do a better job than me. I have more experience and produce better outcomes. But you seem to be saying because I didn't negotiate a better salary when I joined it's right that men should be paid more hmm

How very empowering to women that is.

GnomeDePlume Sat 10-Feb-18 13:57:47

lesDeuxAlps I am not sure in the Tesco case but in the Asda case which is covering much the same ground one of the issues is that higher paying warehouse jobs are given to men and lower paid store jobs given to women.

The recruitment and selection is done simultaneously.

VelvetSpoon Sat 10-Feb-18 13:59:57

This reads to me like a man if he's paid more is assumed to be better at his job.

As s woman I have to prove I'm his equal/ superior to get the same money.

Completely ignoring the fact that women are economically vulnerable.

VelvetSpoon Sat 10-Feb-18 14:01:46

I should say that my colleagues and I were referencing the Tesco case which then broadened into a wider discussion of the gender pay gap. And gems like single parents are In the same boat as husbands with SAHM wives, and women are less motivated after they have kids. Etc.

GnomeDePlume Sat 10-Feb-18 14:03:09

Without a doubt men in my work place are paid more than women for identical or even lesser roles.

In a private conversation with a colleague about the poor performance of a male member of her team I asked her if she would tolerate the same poor performance from a female team member and she admitted that she would not.

GnomeDePlume Sat 10-Feb-18 14:14:54

I dont agree about the claim that men are just better at negotiating. They arent they just dont need to negotiate. There is an underlyig assumption in all the companies I have worked for that if a job is done by a man that it is worth more than if it is done by a woman.

Women are not offered opportunities to progress in the way that men are. When a woman has a child she is assumed to be taking her career less seriously, when a man has a child he is assumed to take his career more seriously.

Viviennemary Sat 10-Feb-18 14:19:04

This Tesco's stuff is just nonsense. They are not comparing the same job. If the Tesco's cashiers want to work in the warehouse lugging around heavy stuff then they can. But this silly bleating about cashiers being paid less than the warehouse staff is pathetic. It isn't the same job. Can't they understand that. It's not exactly rocket science.

Ll81 Sat 10-Feb-18 14:21:36

This Tesco case just proove that jobs earn different wages.

Ridiculous. Sadly many people just like to say it's sexism rather than different jobs and different times at level.

VelvetSpoon Sat 10-Feb-18 14:24:43

Thanks Gnome - that's what I was getting at. The presumption is men get paid more, and women have to prove they're worth the same.

Also it gets assumed women aren't motivated by money because they have a man to support them. I've been asked many times over the years what my husband does, or how he feels about me working and having children...I have never been married and don't wear a ring. Yet they assume I've got a man propping me up.

B3myvalentine Sat 10-Feb-18 14:28:06

I wonder if Tesco will start job sharing, example x person works 2 days in the cold warehouse, then 3 days on the warmer shop floor. Y person works the reverse. Then rotate the working pattern. How many people are willing to work in a warehouse ? I don't think the jobs are comparable

Ll81 Sat 10-Feb-18 14:29:46

Isn't it people working in the distribution center for Tesco not even shops. Making their case ever more ridiculous.

B3myvalentine Sat 10-Feb-18 14:30:35

I have worked with people that have been merged into the new company. All Doing the same job, but on vastly different salaries. It is very annoying, but better than being unemployed.

ChelleDawg2020 Sat 10-Feb-18 14:32:40

I believe in equal work for equal pay, and I am fortunate in that I have received the same as male colleagues when in the same role.

However, the Tesco case is not a good one. Different jobs SHOULD pay different wages. It's all very well complaining that two different jobs are of equal value to the company, but this does not mean the jobs are equal. ALL jobs are of equal value to a company, otherwise they wouldn't employ people to do them. In the Tesco example, warehouse workers, drivers, checkout staff, cleaners - all are of equal value, because if you took one role away there would be little point in people filling the other roles. But this does not mean all the jobs are equal.

The fight should be about equal pay for equal work. Not equal pay for different work. If the complainants in the Tesco case wanted the same wages men were being paid, they should have asked to move over to the roles that the men were performing.

IF the case were about male checkout staff being paid more than female checkout staff, they'd have a good point. But it's not, and they don't.

IHATEPeppaPig Sat 10-Feb-18 14:35:53

The Tesco case is about equal value though, so why are the people (predominantly male) and the shop workers (predominantly female) valued less. It isn't as easy as saying they are different jobs and therefore not comparable - it is about looking at the value of the jobs and whilst yes, they require differing skills (although the shop floor workers are required to do heavy lifting and shelf stacking too as well as handling money and customer facing) why is one valued more than the other in the same company.

YANBU OP, it's a mans world for sure.

InaConfusedState Sat 10-Feb-18 14:41:36

Velvet I've experienced similar in my organisation. I'm on less money than men doing an equivalent role and had sort of accepted it because I have some flexibility at work - I thought it was a trade off.

But I've realised that actually men have the flexibility too. If they need time to watch DC assembly, attend events, take child to doctor - they get the time to do it. I get no more flexibility than them, but somehow it's ok to pay me less than the men.

Our work output is no different, regardless of whether its me or them being shown flexibility. In fact I probably do more as I'm so super keen to make sure the organisation gets the best from me.

I don't know how to fix this - I can't threaten to leave as I need to pay the mortgage

TeenTimesTwo Sat 10-Feb-18 14:49:24

I haven't followed the Tesco case in detail, but I am finding interesting the implicit assumptions in this thread.

Many posters on this thread seem to be assuming that manual labour, as it requires physical strength, is harder than checkout / shop floor work. but checkout / shop floor work requires customer care and money handling and 'presentation' skills (ie looking smart, talking nicely).

Why are people valuing physical strength over and above customer care & communication skills? Because physical strength is typically 'male' whereas the softer skills required on the shop floor are typically 'female'. We have been conditioned to think that things men are good at are harder and more worthy, whereas if there are things men are less good at they dismiss it as being 'just' women's work and thus obviously of less value.

Ll81 Sat 10-Feb-18 14:52:28

Jobs in the distribution center are more specialised, in harder to get to locations and often woorse conditions (colder and less daylight). Less people want to do that so they get paid more.

lesDeuxAlps Sat 10-Feb-18 15:36:24

"why should I be paid less than a man because I'm a poor negotiate?"

Not paid less than a man, paid less because you're a worse negotiator.

"As s woman I have to prove I'm his equal / superior to get the same money."

What's your problem with this?

"We have been conditioned to think that things men are good at are harder and more worthy, whereas if there are things men are less good at they dismiss it as being 'just' women's work and thus obviously of less value."

Have we? I haven't. I don't know who this "we" is you're speaking on behalf of.

The thing is, using your hypothetical situation, if you have to be able to lift x kg y cm off the floor then you discount weaker people (likely to be women) so narrow down the pool. Supply and demand = better pay for them. Re. the customer service, are you suggesting that women are better at this? What do you base this on? 'Women are conditioned by the patriarchy to be better at cust. care and communication?

I would far rather be in a super market than a warehouse. Wouldn't you?

BakedBeans47 Sat 10-Feb-18 15:53:08


Isn’t it funny how it’s always men who are the “better negotiators” for pay and conditions.

I also think threatening staff with disciplinary for discussing their salary is outrageous. It’s my salary I’ll tell who the fuck I like. It’s also illegal now to discipline for it if the reason is to try and ascertain if there’s unlawful discrimination in the pay differentials.

BakedBeans47 Sat 10-Feb-18 15:56:02

It isn't the same job. Can't they understand that. It's not exactly rocket science

Equal pay doesn’t have to be for the same job. It also covers Work of equal value or Work rated as equivalent.

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