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"No more pay for women this year"

Helsinki (27.10.2011 - Juhani Artto) On 26 October the union confederation STTK drew attention once again to how slowly the gender pay gap is being narrowed and how much still remains to be done to eliminate it. The timing for this reminder was not chosen randomly but consciously.

On 26 October 82 per cent of this year had passed and in Finland, on average, women earn 82 per cent of men's wages and salaries. And so STTK decided it was an opportune moment to generate a bit of publicity for a worthy cause by declaring on 26 October "no more pay for women this year". Media publicity was guaranteed.

STTK's lawyer Anja Lahermaa makes it very clear that equal pay goals and other equality issues must receive far greater attention at the bargaining tables than has been the case up until now. She is responsible for equality issues at the STTK.

"The problem will not be solved solely by having more women working in male-dominated sectors or by more men switching to female-dominated sectors. This can never be a primary solution to the equality imbalance."

"It is of course good that there are women working in traditionally male-dominated sectors. However, it is a dismal and disheartening fact, that in identical jobs women often have lower pay than men and that the career development and prospects of women is slower and offer fewer opportunities than for men."

Studies conducted in recent years in Finland reveal that women's pay is 6 per cent lower than men's pay once age, length of career, educational etc. factors are all taken into the account. On 26 October STTK promised to continue its work towards narrowing the gender pay gap.

Lahermaa points out that the present government has promised to raise, by 2015, women's pay to 85 per cent of men's pay or in other words the government has promised that women will then be paid still many days after the 1 November.

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