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The Tally Ho

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Getting even and shutting up

I know that we 'Murkins spend too much time with our noses in our own newspapers and don't pay enough attention to what else is going on in the world. So let me see if I can even report this correctly: 1,600 female workers in two UK hospitals win an equal pay settlement of 300 million pounds--and they don't want to talk about it. This settlement (not an award) included back pay since 1997 and now includes a pay structure equal to men's. No one wants to make a national issue of it, the union is keeping mum and not pushing for equal pay for other female employees, despite the fact that "the pay gap between men and women is actually growing." The women involved in the settlement that were interviewed in the Guardian article are jubilant at their own good fortune, but circumspect about how it may translate to other workers. The article implies that the disparity in pay between male and female workers is huge enough that if word gets out, it might crash the system. Don't take my word for it; read it over and tell me what you think. Perhaps it's the very idea of universal health care and the employment structures it might necessitate that makes me confused.
(hat tip: Josef K over in the postless comment thread of Twisty's blog.)

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