South West Wales

Men sue university claiming women were paid more

Eighteen men who claim they are being paid less than their female colleagues are suing the University of Wales Trinity Saint David for compensation.

The male caretakers and maintenance staff allege they are being sexually discriminated against.

Eight other men have had their cases stayed pending the outcome of the current tribunal in Cardiff.

The workers are seeking more than £700,000 in wages they say they should have been paid over a six-year period.

An employment tribunal will determine whether the men were discriminated against.

All were originally employed by Swansea Metropolitan University, which merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in August last year.

The men's claims focus on changes to contracts which saw standard 37-hour working weeks introduced. Previously, the men had been on a 45-hour week.

The hearing was told that university officials agreed to continue offering the men an extra eight hours of overtime a week. But when the new contracts were brought in, the workmen said they found they were on a lower hourly rate of pay than women workers on the same grade.

Representing the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Peter Wallington QC told the tribunal that this was a "complex case" and he will argue the university has a defence under the Equality Act.

The hearing continues.

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