One of the biggest farces in recent decades in the public sector – and there are so many to choose from – has been the idea of ‘equivalent jobs’, with ‘equal pay for work of equal value’. The idea is that when women choose to work in low-paying jobs, they should be paid the same as if they were working in higher-paying jobs they didn’t choose. Even by public sector standards it’s ridiculous.
Needless to say the initiative was designed to advantage women at the expense of men, who’ve historically been drawn to jobs which command pay premiums on account of few people being willing to do them, due to factors such as:
– unsocial hours
– unpleasant working conditions
– risk to life and limb
So in determining what ‘equal value’ meant, such considerations were disregarded. A dinner lady’s job has ‘equal value’ as that of a security guard working nights and weekends, at risk of being assaulted… In prisons, women working as administrators were deemed to be doing work of ‘equal value’ to prison warders who were at permanent risk of being attacked, injured, and even killed by violent inmates.
The bills for such initiatives have to be paid eventually. It looks like Birmingham City Council may need to sell or lease some of its key assets to pay its bills: