Fórsa has welcomed the launch a new gender equality action plan for higher education institutions, which is intended to accelerate the achievement of gender equality in the sector.
Although the media coverage of the Gender Equality Action Plan for Higher Education Institutions 2018–2020 emphasised academic grades, Fórsa has stressed that it relates to all grades in the sector, including clerical administrative and support roles in higher education.
The union also says action is needed to deliver gender equality in across the education sector, including in schools where the lowest paid staff grades – like SNAs and school secretaries – are overwhelmingly female.
Fórsa National secretary Andy Pike said the union was taking practical steps to improve gender equality in the sector. This includes the recently-secured job evaluation scheme for library, clerical, administrative and support staff.
“The job evaluation scheme should be an effective tool to tackle gender equality in the clerical and admin grades. We also welcome the proposal to establish a number of female professional posts in institutions as a serious attempt to address the appalling record of the higher education sector on promoting women to senior posts,” he said.
Andy said Fórsa would continue to work to ensure that the lowest paid grades are not left behind as the plan is implemented, and to build upon the agreement on job evaluation.