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Union membership among women in public sector

8 March 2006

PSA Media Release

Union membership among women in public sector up: time right for equal pay

"It's time for pay and employment equity to become a reality for women working in the public sector in New Zealand," said Brenda Pilott, Public Service Association National Secretary, commenting on figures released on International Working Women's Day which show that the PSA membership is now nearly 70 percent women.

The PSA is the largest state sector union, representing over 35,000 women and 52,000 public service workers in central and local government, the health sector and in community services.

"Women in the public service are still underpaid and the work they do undervalued," said Brenda Pilott. "By joining the union, women in the public service are joining the campaign for pay and employment equity."

The gender pay gap in the public service is now 17 percent according figures from the State Services Commission.

"We are calling on government and employers in the public sector to ensure that they budget to fund pay and employment equity initiatives aimed at closing the gender pay gap."

There are currently ten pay and employment equity reviews occurring throughout the public service which aim to identify employment inequities between men and women.

"Its not just about money; pay and employment equity is about eliminating barriers to career progression for women and improving access to childcare and retirement savings schemes."

Women make up 52 percent of the total membership of unions in New Zealand.

"Unions have a critical role to play in working with the government and employers to eliminate the gender pay gap and ensure that men and women are treated fairly in the workplace."

ENDS

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