More jobs, less pay for SBC women workers

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Apart from being politically incorrect, it would be a misnomer to describe Scottish Borders Council’s staffing profile in terms of “manpower”.

Because a new report has revealed that more than 70 per cent of the local authority’s total non-teaching workforce of 4,614 is female.

Produced to assess if the council is meeting its statutory obligations under the Equality Act, the report shows there is still a marked gender imbalance in terms of pay.

The average hourly rate for a female employee in 2014 was £11.11 compared to £12.77 for a man – a differential of £1.66 per hour or 13 per cent, which is narrower than the £1.83 (14 per cent) recorded in 2013.

The top-paid jobs at the council continue to be dominated by men, although, again, the gap appears to be closing.

Of the highest earning 2 per cent of the workforce in 2014, 38.4 per cent were women – up 2 per cent on the previous year.

A lesser but slightly expanding salary gap exists among the 1,517 teachers employed by the council, 76 per cent of whom are women, earning an average of £22.10 per hour – £1.25 less than their male counterparts.

In 2013, that pay gap was £1.23.

If women far outnumber men in running council services and educating the region’s children, the same cannot be said for the people who ostensibly control SBC – the 34 elected members.

There are currently just five female councillors, compared to six before the last local government elections in 2012.

The remainder are all white males, only one of whom is aged under 40.