Victory for women workers

LETTER

Finally our Government has recognised that care and support workers are earning less merely because they are women. Thank you to Kristine Bartlett and the E Tu Union (formerly Service and Food Workers Union), NZNO and the PSA who from 2013 have pursued this pay equity case through the courts to get redress and equality of wages for women workers. Thank you to the courts for providing the means to persuade the National Government to agree to partially fund the increase.

When I worked in the then Department of Labour a lot of work over several years was done to address the gender pay gap, with comparators found between similar roles. In addition, the Equal Pay Act 1990 was enacted. All of that research and the new Act were thrown out by new National governments in 1990 and 2008. It is therefore surprising that the National Government is claiming kudos as they were very reluctant partners and even sent the Attorney-General to argue against equal pay in the Appeal Court on behalf of the Crown.

New legislation limits equal pay to caregivers and other sectors will have to fight their own cases or miss out as a result. Still, we must celebrate this victory for women workers and continue in attempts to pay all women and low-paid workers fair pay for a fair day’s work. It is good news indeed.

Mary-Ann de Kort

Finally our Government has recognised that care and support workers are earning less merely because they are women. Thank you to Kristine Bartlett and the E Tu Union (formerly Service and Food Workers Union), NZNO and the PSA who from 2013 have pursued this pay equity case through the courts to get redress and equality of wages for women workers. Thank you to the courts for providing the means to persuade the National Government to agree to partially fund the increase.

When I worked in the then Department of Labour a lot of work over several years was done to address the gender pay gap, with comparators found between similar roles. In addition, the Equal Pay Act 1990 was enacted. All of that research and the new Act were thrown out by new National governments in 1990 and 2008. It is therefore surprising that the National Government is claiming kudos as they were very reluctant partners and even sent the Attorney-General to argue against equal pay in the Appeal Court on behalf of the Crown.

New legislation limits equal pay to caregivers and other sectors will have to fight their own cases or miss out as a result. Still, we must celebrate this victory for women workers and continue in attempts to pay all women and low-paid workers fair pay for a fair day’s work. It is good news indeed.

Mary-Ann de Kort

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