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In a week when the government reshuffled its cabinet, HE issues that made headlines gave the newly-appointed universities minister a taste of things to come, says Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Institute of Student Employers .
The past week’s events and news are a sign of turbulent times for UK universities, warns Nicola Owen, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) at Lancaster University.
Female academics in the UK are paid on average £6,103 a year less than their male peers, leaving an annual gender pay gap across the sector amounting to £528 million, a survey by the University and College Union has found.
Women are paid less than men at 154 universities across the sector, with the largest pay gaps at Russell Group institutions, a report on the findings says.
UCU is calling for universities to make faster progress towards equal pay, following recommendations for institutions to take action from the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "These colleges and universities should not have allowed such shameful levels of pay inequality to persist. It’s nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and they’re still flying in the face of it.
"Today on International Women’s Day, we would like to see a firm commitment from sector leaders to close the gap and are offering to work with institutions to make equal pay at every college and university a reality."
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