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Landmark deal at University of Bristol to tackle gender pay gap

THE UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL has become the first higher-educational institution to commit to tackling the gender pay gap following lengthy talks with its staff’s union.

The landmark deal between the University & College Union (UCU) and uni bosses was announced today.

Currently, the median pay gap between women and men at the university is 13.6 per cent, just under the 15.1 per cent national average in Britain’s higher-education institutions.

Both sides have now agreed to a series of measures that include increasing progression opportunities for women, greater opportunities to work flexibly or to job-share, and funding for pilot schemes to allow research staff to continue working at the university between grants.

Training will also be provided for all staff involved in recruitment and promotion processes.

The plans follow 18 months of negotiations after the UCU branch submitted a claim to tackle the issue at the university.

Vice-president of Bristol UCU Suzy Cheeke said: “This landmark agreement shows what can be achieved when universities work with us to tackle a problem head-on.

“We now have a series of measures in place to deliver real positive change for women at the University of Bristol.”

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Instead of seeking to mitigate the seriousness of issues such as pay equality, casualisation and workloads, institutions across the sector should be looking to follow Bristol’s example.

“Universities now need to put pressure on their representatives to provide firm proposals that address all the issues at the heart of the current disputes.”

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor and provost Professor Judith Squires said the agreement signifies its commitment to eliminating the gender pay gap but acknowledged that “there is still more work to do.”

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