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Greens' push for pay equity in Industry NZ

The Green Party today lodged an amendment to the Economic Development (Industry New Zealand and Ministry of Economic Development) Bill to require Industry NZ to recognise equal pay for work of equal value under its "good employer" personnel policy.

"We are committed to pay equity and believe it is vital that the government takes the lead on this," said Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"The establishment of a new crown entity such as Industry NZ provides a perfect opportunity to make a real difference on this long standing problem.

"We hope Labour and the Alliance will support this amendment as they both campaigned on pay equity during the election," he said.

New Zealand women are paid on average only four fifths of their male counterparts. The February Statistics NZ Quarterly Employment Survey reveals that the average ordinary time hourly earnings for males were $18.73 compared to $15.80 for females.

"Women have been told for years that it is because they have less skills or qualifications than men - that when women become equal with men in educational achievement and work participation - then the gender pay gap will decrease.

"But this has not happened. In fact, some research shows that the greatest pay gap between men and women is between those with higher qualification.

"The real problem is occupational segregation and how we as a society value differently the jobs women do from the jobs men do.

"Consider the pay differential between nurses and police. It is only in the last couple of years, we have addressed the inequity between primary school teachers (mostly women) and secondary school teachers (with a higher proportion of male teachers).

"It is important that Industry NZ is seen as a model employer organisation because of its role in job creation. By adopting pay equity I hope Industry NZ will encourage the organisations it is in partnership with to improve employment practices," he said.

Contact: Rod Donald 025 507 183

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