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EPSU Strategy regarding the EC’s Action Plan on the Gender Pay Gap

06 March 2018

The European Commission is adopting an Action Plan to tackle the gender pay gap in 2018-2019. In view of this, EPSU has proposed to put into place a series of actions that were adopted at the Women’s and Gender Equality Committee meeting that took place last November. Tackling the gender pay gap is one of EPSU’s priorities. This is part of PSI's online campaign for International Women's Day.

IWD2018 Day 6

Check out PSI's online campaign for International Women's Day
(1st - 10th March 2018)


adopted at the WGEC meeting on the 27th of November 2017

Trade Unions are at the core of policies tackling the gender pay gap and we want to remain there. We need to strengthen the role of collective bargaining in addressing pay inequalities, the gender pay gap and gender equality in general. The gender pay gap cannot be ignored, least tolerated. Urgent action is needed, which needs to be persuasive, proportional, and legally binding. The Commission has said that gender equality (and the pay gap) are political priorities.

The EPSU has called repeatedly for:

  1. Pay Transparency;
  2. Equality Plans in the Member States, addressing in particular and across the board, issues around the gender pay gap;
  3. Strengthening the role of collective bargaining in relation to:
       - Gender-neutral pay systems
       - Equality proofing
       - Job evaluation schemes

What needs to be done by EPSU?

  1. Detailed analysis of the proposed action plan on the gender pay gap
     - Questionnaire to affiliates on their experiences/negotiations on the gender pay gap
     - Their reaction to the action plan: good -bad – sufficient -what needs to be improved
     - Dissemination of the results and a proposal for a position on the action plan.
  2. Affiliates to gather information about successful and successful strategies to close the gender pay gap with a view to our set target of up to 5 per cent reduction of the gender pay gap in the public sector.
  3. Update data on the gender pay gap in the public sector for the 8th of March 2018.
  4. WGEC to define what such a legally binding instrument should look like:
     - Such instrument should take the form an amendment to the existing directive;
     - Should not open text on existing rights;
     - Should focus specifically on pay transparency alongside punitive measures.
  5. Affiliates to lobby their national governments to introduce legislation on pay transparency where it does not exist or where it needs improvement;
  6. Lobby governments and the European institutions to support the proposal and adoption of such a legally binding instrument;
  7. Monitor closely the implementation of the Action Plan and react in a timely manner if it is not implemented properly;
  8. Bring the gender pay gap and measures for transparency into collective bargaining wherever possible;
  9. Organize a conference about a new gender contract with focus on the pay gap in early 2018;
  10. Work together with other civil society actors, at local, national and European level with a view to eliminating the gender pay gap.

More information:


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