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UHO wants commission on incomes

The Confederation of Higher Education Unions (UHO) wants the government to establish a commission in order to establish equal salary for men and women.

«It’s a shame that we in Norway, a country of equality, have not managed to level the salary differences between men and women during the last 20 years,» said Folkestad, head of UHO, which among other things consists of unions for nurses, teachers and nursery nurses.

Women make approximately 86 percent of what men earn. UHO suggests that the government establishes a commission to analyse and present suggestions on how to strengthen the attempts for equal pay in Norway.

The gap is particularly prominent between occupations in public sector dominated by women and men who work in private enterprises. Folkestad claims that the so called frontfagmodel, a model which establishes the wage settlements in male dominated competitive industry dictates the wage growth, is to blame to a large degree.

«The model has contributed to prevent levelling of incomes between men and women,» Folkestad stated. «If we are going to do something with levelling of incomes, occupations in public sector dominated by women must get a higher salary increase over a period of time.»

Gerd-Liv Valla, head of the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO), will not discuss the model Folkestad is criticizing.

«Levelling of incomes is an important question that LO works with constantly, but I’m not sure that a commission is the way to go,» Valla said to the Norwegian paper Dagsavisen.

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