Resolution on gender and pay equity

published 25 July 2007 updated 31 March 2017

The 5th World Congress of Education International (EI), meeting in Berlin (Germany) 22 to 26 July 2007,

1. Notes the pertinent provisions of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 1979, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Equality of Opportunity and Treatment of Women Workers (1975), the Beijing Platform of Action, 1995, the ILO Fundamental Declaration on Fundamental principles and Rights at Work 1998;

2. Recalls the ILO Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100), the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), the Workers with family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156) and the principles enshrined in other relevant ILO Conventions;

3. Notes the adoption by the ILO of the Maternity Protection Convention (No. 183) in 2000;

4. Notes further that differences in pay based on gender is sex-based discrimination that women continue to suffer;

5. Recognizes the increasing number of women entering the workforce and the education profession in particular, and further, that where women are the majority of employees, pay decreases;

6. Notes that despite the efforts made to date, equal pay for men and women remains a pending issue throughout the world, and while the gender pay gap has decreased in some places, many countries are a long way away from achieving pay equity and that the spread of insecure employment affects women first and foremost, and helps to widen pay gaps;

7. Emphasizes the critical role that education unions play in the improvement of the working conditions of all education workers;

8. Emphasizes further that pay equity is a cross-cutting element in EI gender equality policies and programs, and that the majority of EI members are female;

9. Convinced that achieving pay equity is an important means of addressing gender discrimination not only in wage systems but in the workplace itself;

10. Also Convinced that the investment in public services, especially education, that support the empowerment of women and girls is crucial. It means promoting women as workers, supporting women and girls as services users and protecting them from any abuse;

11. Reiterates its conviction that the time has come to leave behind labour practices and pay systems which establish unacceptable inequalities between male and female workers, and which, when life-long earnings and pension incomes are analysed and compared, reveal gross discrepancies, including, or especially, in developed countries;

The Fifth World Congress of Education International

12. Calls on governments to take effective measures, including legal, to:

a. Ensure the right of every woman to receive equal remuneration for equivalent work or responsibility received by male counterparts;

b. Require employers in both the public and private sectors to provide equal pay for work of equal value, whether or not the jobs are the same;

c. Ensure that the design, methodology, and implementation of job evaluation systems are free of discrimination and include in their development the full participation of the trade union movement;

d. Give priority when designing public policies, programmes and allocating resources, including timelines, to ensure the achievement of the objective of pay equity;

e. to have an employment policy that eliminates forms of insecure employment.

13. Urges EI member organisations to:

a. Lobby governments to ratify and fully implement ILO Conventions relevant to the achievement of pay equity, in particular Conventions N° 100, 111 and 156; remove inequalities and discrimination from pay systems, making them transparent and open to scrutiny; allocate sufficient priority and funds to achieve pay equity;

b. Collect relevant information on the existence of a sex-based wage differential in the education sector and circulate to members.

c. Make pay equity a collective bargaining objective;

d. Train negotiating teams to achieve language and/or measures that guarantee pay equity;

e. Train women so that they are able to detect the existence of pay inequity and effectively present the case in support of their labour rights.

14. Calls on EI to:

a. Integrate the issue of pay equity in all EI gender equality activities, at international, regional and national levels;

b. Develop specific tools and materials to assist member organisations to conduct campaigns on pay equity and job evaluation systems;

c. Strengthen its collaboration with the Global Union Federations and International Labour Organization on the promotion of Pay Equity;

d. Undertake joint work with the Global Unions on pay equity as a strategic objective, at international, national and regional levels, such work to include advocacy, training, and sharing resource materials;

e. Ensure the right to trade union membership and the exercise of trade union responsibilities for women in the workplace.