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Pay transparency… January 28, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I think this is key, from RTÉ, a piece noting the importance of pay transparency.

Many people benefit from the reluctance to discuss pay. For example, bosses are often flatly tell their employees not to discuss or disclose their salaries, claiming that these discussions will cause conflicts. Even though these “gag rules” are often illegal, they are surprisingly common. Bosses may have legitimate concerns about the way salary discussions can lead to conflict, but they also have a vested interest in keeping pay levels secret. Pay secrecy creates a condition of “information asymmetry” in which employees do not know how much they are paid relative to their peers, but employers know about everyone’s pay. This makes it difficult for employees to bargain effectively for salaries.


Pay secrecy appears to be an important factor in gender discrimination. It is well known that women, on average, receive lower salaries than men. There are many reasons for this gender gap in salaries, ranging from the segregation of men and women into different jobs and careers (for example, most firefighters are men and most secretaries are women), the effects of leaving the job market to have and raise children and sex discrimination.  If women do not know what they are being paid in comparison to men in the same job and in similar jobs, it is very difficult to challenge discriminatory pay.

I, and I’ll bet many of us who have worked in the private sector over the years, have seen at first hand how bosses have used secrecy over pay to play one worker off another.
But this isn’t unuseful, from The Journal, and an outline of average wages. Though median would be more useful again.


1. yourcousin - January 28, 2020

One of the best things about a union contract. It sets scale. You can always make more, but you’ll always know what base rate is.


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