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Universities Defend Gender Pay Gap Figures

Some Scottish universities have been accused of having a significant gender pay gap between male and female workers and academics. However, they have defended their position stating that the data used was out of date and not reflective of their policy.

Aberdeen, Glasgow, St Andrews and University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) had all been accused of having significant pay gaps with the University and College Union (UCU) stating that the difference between different genders wages amounted to thousands of pounds.

However, all four universities had denied that this was the case and that UCU had used data that was out of date. They also stated that they had resolved many problems through hard word and that the gender pay gap was now nominal in all of their establishments.

UCU Report Findings into Gender Inequality

The study, which was released initially in March to celebrate International Women’s Day aimed to raise awareness of the gender inequality in universities.

According to the UCU data, the UHI had the biggest gender pay gap in the UK with female lecturers receiving £18,637 less a year than their male colleagues. The other gender gaps at other universities was still considerable with the pay gap at Aberdeen being £9,914; Glasgow's was £9,244 and St Andrews' was £8,699.

UCU Scotland official, Mary Senior, said: "These universities should not have allowed such shameful levels of pay inequality to persist.

"It's nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and they're still flying in the face of it.”

Despite a number of the universities accepting that there was a small pay gap in cases, all four, including Glasgow, denied the fact that their gap was so considerable.

A Glasgow University spokesperson reiterated their commitment to tackling gender inequality saying "The gender pay gap across the majority of our grades falls well within statistically permitted parameters including those encompassing lecturer, senior lecturer and reader.

"The impact of professorial zoning continues to narrow the gap at a senior level."

A spokesman for the UHI admitted that there was indeed a gender pay gap, but it was not to the "magnitude" that had been reported by UCU.

He said: "The figure and gap quoted derive from the data the university submitted to Higher Education Statistics Agency in 2013/14 in respect of the small number of staff - 44 - who had academic roles and were employed directly by the university.

"A number of these roles represent the academic staff within the Centre for History and the Centre for Health Sciences, but a significant number are senior roles with pan-university responsibilities."

A spokesman from Aberdeen University insisted that the data from UCU was not up to date while Saint Andrews insisted that they had made “significant progress” in tackling gender inequality, with estimates showing that their gap was just under £200, not £8,000.

Equal Pay Solicitors: Contact Us

Although all universities stated that they do not have a gender pay gap, sadly, a number of workplaces fail to have equal pay between male and female staff. If you believe you are suffering from gender inequality regarding payment, or if you have been discriminated against due to your gender, contact our team of expert solicitors today using our online contact form.

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