Once again FTTUB supported the initiative of the European Commission for Equal Pay Day


This year, DG “Justice” of European Commission has announced 2 November for Equal Pay Day. The remaining 59 days (over 16%) from this day till the end of the year comprise the period women work for “free”, as it corresponds to what women in Europe gain less in payment for their work than men.
The Equal Pay Day has been marked by different activities that FTTUB delivered from the very beginning of the initiative in 2011.The Federation constantly underlines the gravity of the issue with its long-term impact, e.g. the pension pay gap, at a later stage of the life cycle.The focus of the 2015 campaign was put on the final report of the “Gender Pay Gap in transport” project.
At the opening of the meeting, the FTTUB’s president Ekaterina Yordanova spoke of the EC Recommendation from 7 March to the Member States on how to overcome the Gender Pay Gap.
The paper outlines transparency measures in 4 directions:
• The entitlement of employees to request information on pay levels, including on complementary or variable components such as bonuses or payments in kind. They should be broken down by gender, for categories of employees doing the same work or work of equal value;
• Employers’ regular reporting of average remuneration by category of employee or position, broken down by gender (this requirement applies only to large and medium companies);
• Conducting pay audits in large companies and making them available to workers’ representatives and social partners upon request. These audits should include an analysis of the proportion of men and women in each category of employee or position and an analysis of the job evaluation and system used in the company. The provision does not apply to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs);
• The inclusion of equal pay issues and pay audits in collective bargaining.
The Recommendation encourages Member States to put in place at least one of these actions on their own discretion. By the end of the year, Member States should inform the Commission on the steps they have taken to implement the recommendation, after that the Commission will assess the progress achieved and the need for possible further action.

FTTUB has already been using similar measures for equality. They have been added as provisions to company CBAs and included in a separate dedicated chapter in the Sectoral Collective Bargaining Agreement.
At the meeting, the “Gender pay gap in transport” project was reported. It represents a sectoral analysis made for FTTUB within the CITUB “Security through law, flexibility through collective bargaining” by the operative programme “Human Resources Development”.
The analysis team leader prof. Elena Simeonova presented the outcome of a survey made in 3 companies to representatives of affiliate trade unions, guests from CITUB and other federations, employers, media. Unlike many similar events, the audience was gender balanced – a precondition for success of every gender equality policy.
Professor Simeonova underlined the need of reliable and comparable information. Although, she didn`t hide that the results at company level only confirm what experts had stated for years. The same was reaffirmed during the debate – a gap still exists, indeed, yet usually well concealed. It is multilevel and depends on factors that interact; from “invisible” differences in the total year income of people within a particular professional group to hidden subtle discrimination in hiring to work or career development. There is also the alarming “scissors” effect which progresses with the age and leads to shocking gender gaps in pensions. Yet, the opportunities of unions for influence about gathering information, negotiations and control are also available at many levels.
Other important steps to more and better results are: lobbying for more adequate national statistics, which could empower the already existing legislative measures, along with a proactive approach embedded into the new Bulgarian law on gender equality. The EC Recommendation to the MS also gives clear guidelines so that all stakeholders can concentrate efforts.
This analysis is a part of the consistent policy of FTTUB for equality between women and men. It came out of the need of empirical data as a base for more focused actions for economic equality that was reported at National Women Conference from 9 March this year (see here). The outcome is helpful as findings as well as experience gathered during the research. This pilot project definitely will be completed and upgraded by new initiatives in the years to come by women and men of FTTUB – TOGETHER.