Reconciliation policies precondition for quality jobs and equal pay
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Reconciliation policies: precondition for quality jobs and equal pay. Catelene Passchier, confederal secretary European Trade Union Confederation. Challenges for the next decades (1). 42 Percent of German women believes that having children will mean the end of their career …………..

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Reconciliation policies: precondition for quality jobs and equal pay

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Reconciliation policies: precondition for quality jobs and equal pay

Catelene Passchier, confederal secretary European Trade Union Confederation

Challenges for the next decades(1)

42 Percent of German women believes

that having children will mean the end

of their career …………..

Financial Times Deutschland, Monday 25 June 2007

Challenges for the next decades (2)

In the autumn of 2007 in Bulgaria,

85 % of teachers were on strike. Most of them women.

They demanded a substantial wage increase.

Their current wage is 150 Euro per month (compared to around 400 for a skilled blue collar worker).

Wages in Bulgaria are the lowest in EU 27.

Fertility rates as well ……….

Scenario 1: compromise strategies(fitting women into a male world)

  • The ‘standard worker’ is a full time (male) worker; the organization of work is based on full time availability (plus overtime and/or irregular hours…..)

  • Careers are linear; career breaks lead to ‘wage penalties’

  • Children are a private matter, for which women/families can receive ‘support’

  • Household chores are done by ‘invisible hands’; care (female work) does not have a ‘value’

  • Individual solutions to cope (with ‘income-penalties’):

    part time, flexi-time, (unpaid) leave, childcare

Scenario 1: results

Perpetuation of

  • traditional division of labour of men and women at home

  • segregation in the workplace

  • precarious jobs for women

    Short term advantages:

  • low visible costs or investments needed

Scenario 1: results (continued)

Long term negative effects:

  • low fertility,

  • stagnating labour market participation

  • under-utilisation of female human capital,

  • persistent gender gaps in terms of pay and pension rights etc. (majority of working poor are women, because of low wages and/or low working hours)

    Burden of adjustment on women !

Scenario 2: structural changes (for men and women)

  • The ‘standard worker’ is a worker (m/f) who cares (in various degrees throughout life course)

  • Careers are flexible, with alternating periods of high work intensity and lower work intensity;

  • Work organizations are responsive to change and diversity

  • It is a public interest to invest in an environment that supports and facilitates the (private) choice to have children, and combine paid work with care

Scenario 2: results

Gradual change towards

  • more equal division of labour between men and women at home

  • diminishing gender segregation in the workplace

  • ‘flexibility’ for worker in mainstream job

  • care (both paid and unpaid) is higher valued

    Short term costs:

  • (public and private) investment in childcare, dependent care, social security, leave, etc.

Scenario 2: results (continued)

Long term benefits:

  • higher fertility

  • higher (and more adaptable!) labour market participation (and economic performance …?!)

  • full utilisation of male and female human capital

  • higher wages/ more income security for women, more gender equality

    Burden of adjustment more evenly spread over women and men, workplaces and societies

Some evidence

  • a positive correlation between female employment and fertility

    (with different outcomes for NMS related to low wage levels)

  • a negative correlation between female unemployment and fertility

  • a wage gap between full time and part time working women

1 May poster 1907: the three eight-s (8 hours work, 8 hours sleep, 8 hours free)by Albert Hahn (source: IISG, NL)

8 hours work (NL in 1907: male physical work in agriculture)Albert Hahn, source: IISG NL

8 hours sleep (Albert Hahn, source: IISG NL)

8 hours free (for men…..)(and who cares?)(Albert Hahn, source: IISG NL)

21-st century: we need new images

….. and policy coherence!

  • in flexicurity debate

  • when revising the Working Time Directive

  • when tackling demographic change

    Longer working lives and more adaptability?

    then shorter working days and more flexibility for workers!

8 March 1908:

  • Mass meeting in New York, organized by women from the clothing and textile trades, for

    • higher wages

    • an eight hour working day

    • women’s suffrage

8 march 2008………

  • Tackle the pay gap

  • Tackle the time gap

  • Tackle the representation gap

European Social PartnersFramework of actions on Gender equality (2005)

4 priority areas for action:

  • Addressing gender stereotypes /segregation

  • Promoting women in decision-making

  • Supporting work life balance

  • Tackling the gender pay gap

Tackle the pay gap

  • Raise low (women’s) wages

  • Demand equal pay men/women

  • Mainstream in general wage policies

    ETUC 2008: campaign ‘Europe’s workers need a pay rise’, with emphasis on equal pay

Tackle the time gap

  • Measures to improve reconciliation (men/women):

    • Leave arrangements

    • Care infra structure

  • Rights to flexibility for workers

    • schedules working time

    • volume of work (reversible part time)

Reconciliation of work, private and family life

Joint evaluation European Social Partners of

Parental Leave Directive:

  • evaluation of parental leave arrangements

  • in connection with other arrangements supporting parents and work life balance ( flexible work arrangements, childcare, other forms of leave)

  • to assess if joint actions need to be taken….

    Report to Social Summit March 2008

  • Yes, joint action will be taken on: leave, care, time

  • But details to be further decided (before summer)

  • Negotiations can start after the summer

Tackle the representation gap

ETUC Congress 2007

Charter on Gender mainstreaming

  • Elimination of gender representation gap:

    • good and comparable data

    • increase of women in decision making

  • Stronger role equality bodies

  • Enhancing role and visibility of women in all ETUC structures

First annual 8 March Survey 2008

  • Women are driving up trade union membership across majority ETUC affiliates

  • Women are still inadequately represented in leadership positions: the glass ceiling is still strongly in place (slow or no progress!)

Thank you !

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