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Gender pay discrimination

Discussion in 'Independent' started by muddledmum, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. muddledmum

    muddledmum New commenter

    I started working at my current school as an unqualified teacher, then went through the TES Straight to Teaching and am currently in the last term of my NQT year.
    I was categorically told the maximum amount that the school paid for unqualified teachers regardless of qualifications then on achieving QTS, what the pay scale was that I would follow. Maybe naively I believed this.
    The next unqualified member of staff taken on is currently half way through the Straight to Teaching course. They are currently earning £8,000 more than me. We are doing the same job, qualified the same way; key differences are gender and the fact they have a PhD.
    I know Independent schools have freedom with pay but this seems completely unfair. We are doing the same job, the same training etc - maybe some allowance to attract highly qualified staff but the PhD really does not impact much on the teaching of 11-16 year olds.
    Can I challenge this? Or should I just not have believed the pay 'scale'? Or am I just not qualified enough to deserve a fair salary?
    There are other issues currently but lack of clarity and fairness of pay is a big one and does not just involve this situation.
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    This is where you need to check very carefully. Is there a published pay policy or pay scale (there should be, but might not be if the school's HR is a bit iffy)? Does your pay fit that?
    This is also where you need expert guidance - you have no idea who we all are here, and your union should be able to help you with the specifics. (Incidentally, way back in the past, I found I was being underpaid compared with the policy at the time; my union dod the work for me; and my pay rise has more than paid for many years of union subscriptions.) But I am not an expert nor a lawyer - and you do need an expert.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I agree with Skeoch, you need to discuss this with your union.

    I'm not an expert or a lawyer either, but I would say this, that if you wanted to establish gender pay discrimination in the school you would need to look at the pay of all the teaching staff. You can't prove an intention to discriminate on grounds of sex by picking only one man and only one woman doing similar jobs for different salaries and conclude there's a discriminatory pay practice by the employer as a whole. And you have already said there is a significant difference in the level of qualification (the man has a PhD, you don't) which might justify it.
  4. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I do think a PhD does deserve a higher pay level all other things being equal. Students and parents in an independent school do respect it. (source: me, was unqualified in a niche subject - the advanced degree did make a substantial difference to my pay).....
  5. davidmu

    davidmu Occasional commenter

    As sabrinakat says "all other things being equal". There is a huge difference between having a Ph.D and being a competent and well informed teacher. I worked for a while with a Ph.D teacher in a core subject and this member of staff was hopeless. Eventually the HT suggested that leaving was the only option. In this case none of us know the precise situation.

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