TWO thirds of Wigan’s public sector workers will be hit hardest by pay cuts because they are female according to a leading trade union.
Figures released by the GMB show that there are 27,300 female workers in the public sector in Wigan borough – 69.5 per cent of the public sector workforce.
And the union says that if plans by the Government to introduce regional pay arrangements go ahead, women will be worst affected.
GMB chiefs claim that regional pay plans being drawn up by Whitehall will see Wigan hit badly, with some 39,300 of the 137,700 people employed locally working in the public sector.
Regional pay for public sector staff – bringing salaries in line with remuneration rates in the private sector – could save taxpayers £6.3bn a year, according to Policy Exchange.
In its latest report, Local Pay, Local Growth, the right wing thinktank claims that adjusting public sector salaries by region could create 288,000 new private sector jobs in areas of high unemployment.
The GMB says women working in the public sector in Wigan would be the 10th worst hit in the region (Cumbria being worst hit with 72.2 per cent of the workforce being women and Warrington the least affected with 63.8 per cent).
Across the North West, there are some 533,400 women working in the public sector, making up 68.8 per cent of the workforce: four per cent higher than the national average of 64.9 per cent.
Paul McCarthy, GMB Regional Secretary in the North West said: “Nearly 65 per cent of all those employed in the UK public sector are women. They will be the main losers in any regional pay arrangements which will cut pay.
“So a plan to cut public sector pay in this region is a further attack on women who are already bearing disproportionately the burden of this recession.
“What worries women workers in the public sector most is the impact and effect that the government’s attack on their earnings will have on their family and in particular the children.
“If regional pay is implemented it will cut pay and be a further devastating blow for local economies in the North West.
“Government should be having an economic policy that puts money into people’s pockets, so people can go out and buy goods and services therefore injecting demand in the economy.”