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Govt must take action following victory in pay equity case

Govt must take action following victory in pay equity case

The Employment Court victory of Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett means the Key Government needs to confront the issues of massive pay inequity in the caregiving sector, Green Party women's spokesperson Jan Logie said today.

The Employment Court supported the Service and Food Worker’s union view that Ms Bartlett should receive a rate of pay equal to what those working in the same occupation would receive if that group was male-dominated.

“The Government should have acted after the hard hitting report of the Equal Employment Commissioner last year,” Ms Logie said.

“That report highlighted the poor pay and undervaluing of the work done in the caring sector by a predominantly female workforce.

“Now the Employment Court has also recognised that caregivers are being paid abysmally low wages simply because of their gender.

“The Government needs to realise that care-giving is highly skilled and demanding work,” Ms Logie said.

“There is no excuse for either pay disparity in this sector because of gender or the ridiculous situation whereby care workers funded by District Health Boards through providers, earn less than staff directly employed by a DHB.

“The ruling by the Employment Court over pay equity needs to be seen as a game changer that will spur the Government into action to stop the exploitation of the women working in the care sector.

“These women workers have been subsidising the Government and funders of these services through their labour and dedication to those they care for too long.

“The Service and Food Workers’ Union efforts in bringing this case to the Employment Court and demolishing the arguments of those with vested interests in keeping the status quo must now be matched by Government action,” said Ms Logie.


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