BUSINESS MONDAY: More to be done

Based on the findings from the ILO-PSI Gender Neutral Job Evaluation Project, it is clear that more needs to be done to improve equality of the job sector in Barbados.

Speaking with media on the sidelines of the Presentation of Findings ILO-PSI Gender Neutral Job Evaluation Project: Implementing ILO Convention 100 on Equal Renumeration that took place recently, Sandra Massiah, PSI sub-regional secretary for the Caribbean, noted that their next step would be to look to partner with the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations to develop an Equality Plan.

She explained that this plan would examine how they developed Barbados. She stated that this plan would be a test case that sought to look at not only pay but inequality on a whole, including the linkages between climate change and gender, migration and gender, and how Barbados planned to implement the Paris agreement for example and the priority areas for the sustainable development goals.

Massiah expressed that they would be working to see how they could bring all of these together, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that the health and social services sector views itself in its true light, the value of the sector is appreciated by all, and that health and social services remain in public hands.

“We are in it for the people, not the profit,” she said.

Massiah noted that one of the interesting things about the public service was that people tended to think that because it is the public service, persons are paid for their skills and it does not matter if the person is male
or female. However, the discussion that needs to be had, should be on renumeration.

She explained that this meant this discussion should focus on more than wage and salary, as it included benefits and all other “bits and pieces that go into your package”.

“It says that we have to do a heck of a lot more research,” Massiah said.

“We certainly are going to be doing some work with the PSI perspective with the Nita Barrow Unit at the UWI, looking not only at the health services sector but also at the care sector because the care economy is one where women’s work is undervalued. It is seen as ‘oh that’s what women normally do’, and in fact there are many more opportunities in terms of employment.”

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