States refuses to publish report on pay disparities

THE States is refusing to publish a report which is known to show massive pay disparities in the public sector.

One of the main findings of the report was that implementing the principle of equal pay for work of equal value would cost taxpayers an extra £50m. per year, a figure which does not include pension contributions.

The report is of particular interest to nurses, who have led on campaigning for pay equality on the issue, and other workers in areas which are regarded historically as female-orientated.

Nurses have argued that they are less valued financially than civil servants with similar levels of responsibility.

Deputy Simon Fairclough referred to the report from Jersey-based consultants Kojima during the debate about freedom of information.

He highlighted it as an example which showed that transparency was failing.

‘This is a report that has been paid for by islanders, it’s content has been referred to and used in debate by politicians, but one that is not being made public – just one example, two requests, and no answers, and no independent appeal process.’

That criticism brought Deputy Al Brouard to his feet to defend the decision not to publish.

Deputy Al Brouard. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29673278)

‘I was on P&R when the Kojima report was there. I would make the same decision again today, that is not something that needs to be in the public domain at this time.’

Deputy Peter Ferbrache agreed: ‘There’s certain information that has to be respected.’

The requests for information were turned down at the time because of two exceptions to the rules.

Firstly, the report was said to ‘inform policies relating to public sector pay’ and secondly, because a wider review was being completed.

One of the findings of the Kojima report was revealed last year by Deputy Lyndon Trott during a debate on the anti-discrimination laws. He told the States that implementing equal pay for work of equal value within the public sector would cost £50m.

He explained that it was not a figure ‘scribbled on the back of a fag packet’ but something that had been worked out by ‘experts’.

The report considered it was impossible to level down public sector salaries, but levelling up to tackle the discrimination within pay would have an impact on public finances.

The last assembly unanimously agreed that equal pay for work of equal value should be enshrined in local law in 2027.

Put simply, it means that pay should be in direct proportion to the size, complexity and output of a job, which would be measured by a job evaluation.

However the new Government Work Plan has proposed shelving any work on this until at least 2025 to view the impact of other discrimination work.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News