From Iceland — New Proposals For Reducing Gender-Based Wage Differences in Reykjavík

New Proposals For Reducing Gender-Based Wage Differences in Reykjavík

Published October 1, 2013

Larissa Kyzer

Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr introduced eleven measures aimed at eliminating gender-specific compensation differences for municipal employees today, RÚV reports. The mayor’s proposals are based on the findings of a report written by an exploratory committee which the mayor appointed to review such discrepancies.
Wage discrepancies between men and women in full time state and municipal jobs have been garnering a great deal of attention in Iceland of late. Among the Mayor’s eleven proposals to rectify these are revisions to overtime contracts and commuter benefits, as well as educational efforts among city managers.
Left Green council member Sóley Tómasdóttir was part of the committee and said that the mayor’s proposals are valuable ones which will certainly have an impact on the current state of affairs. However, she said that it would always be necessary to employ such measures while injustices continue to thrive in society. “I believe this will reduce the [wage] differential…Maybe there will be no gender-based wage differences in five years, but we must always be on the watch, there must always be someone who cares enough to pay attention to this…”
Sóley said that there is also a need to reevaluate all wage contracts and possibly even reduce the terms of some men’s contracts, if they are revealed to be inflated. “It might come to light that some people are receiving wages that they should not be.” Sóley assured that men who are deserving of their salaries will not be penalized as a result of this process: “It won’t happen that salaries are reduced for men who are truly working for what they earn.”

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