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Caregivers going all the way for equal pay today

Caregivers going all the way for equal pay today

Thousands of New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) caregivers are looking forward to today’s court of appeal hearing of Kristine Bartlett’s equal pay case.

In August 2013 Kristine Bartlett, a Service and Food workers member and caregiver in the residential aged care sector went to the Employment Court to argue that her pay of $14.45 per hour (after over 20 years caregiving) is so low because she was a female worker in a female-dominated industry and this is breach of the Equal Pay Act (1972).

NZNO industrial adviser David Wait says, “Kristine comprehensively won the case and equal pay for low paid women around the country began to look like more than a dream.”

“Kristine’s employer, Terranova appealed the decision and it is this appeal that will be heard by the court today. We wonder why they are wasting their time and money on an appeal – we are that certain that the original decision will be upheld.”

“Equal pay for men and women, no matter where they work and what work they do must happen in New Zealand. We cannot continue to live in a society that allows such discrimination on the basis of gender. An estimated 30,000 women working in aged care have been underpaid and undervalued for too long,” Wait says.

“The work caregivers and health care assistants do for our vulnerable elderly is incredibly important in our society. We will all lose if we don’t recognise the value of the work with a fair and decent pay rate that’s equal to what would be paid if the sector were male-dominated.”

“NZNO and SFWU are certain that now is the time to implement fair pay for caregivers. We are on the right side of history. If the Government would like to be too, they know what to do.”

ENDS

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