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Achieving pay equity in Peru’s public water industry

02 November 2015
Over the last two years, PSI has implemented a pilot project of gender neutral job evaluation and the construction of a map of health security risks in EPSEL, the public water enterprise of Lambayeque in the city of Chiclayo in the north of Peru.

The successful implementation of this project is a result of a joint work between the local union SUTSELAM (and its female secretary general) affiliated to FENTAP (Federación Nacional de Trabajadores de Agua Potable de Peru), PSI´s National Women’s Committee, the company management, ILO-ACTRAV, AFLCIO-Solidarity Centre and PSI´s Project in Peru, sponsored by FNV. 

After a judicial court resolution that demanded EPSEL to set up an instrument of job classification, the union proposed the company management to carry out a gender neutral job evaluation process as a means to draw up a pertinent proposal. With the technical assistance of a Canadian expert on Pay Equity, they set up a bipartite committee to draft the agreement. 

While studying the different job descriptions and working conditions, they became concerned about the health and safety findings. In parallel, they conducted a study of security risks, which also integrated gender perspective, with the input this time of an Italian expert.

The studies have now been completed and were presented as an example of good practice not only in Peru, not only at the public sector, but also in the Inter-American region.  For EPSEL workers, the process is not yet finished.  The study has to be transformed in a job classification proposal and an integral re-evaluation of wages, including those of female and male workers, that have to be inserted into in the next collective bargaining agreement.

This experience raised the following points for future discussion:

  • PSI´s water sectorial approach with a gender perspective
  • Pay equity struggle
  • Productive social dialogue at the public sector
  • Defending collective bargaining rights
  • Empowerment of women in trade unions

Read more and watch the video (in Spanish)

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