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Public service must take lead on pay equity

Public service must take lead on pay equity

Pay equity’s time has come in New Zealand and public service employers must take a lead on the issue, PSA national secretary Lynn Middleton said today.

“Pay equity is a hot and topical issue here and worldwide. The public service, as a major employer and one which employs significant numbers of women and other groups who are traditionally disadvantaged in pay rates such as Maori, Pacific peoples, and people with disabilities, has a responsibility to address the issue.”

Lynn Middleton said the PSA and was incorporating a pay equity plan into its strategic plan and was pleased to see the government had pay equity on its agenda with the recent release of a Ministry of Women’s Affairs discussion document, Next Steps Towards Pay Equity.

“The PSA believes that the pay equity theme is a broad context for looking at issues of pay. It should encompass not only issues such as equal pay for work of equal value but also issues such as a living minimum wage and work/life balance. If we address these we can make an enormous positive social and economic impact.”

“It will need, however, a co-ordinated and concerted commitment from employers, unions, and government. With that commitment and using a partnership approach it will be possible to close the gender pay gap.”

Lynn Middleton said the International Labour Organisation conventions for equal remuneration establish the principle of equal pay for work of equal value but there was no evidence so far of New Zealand moving towards that. She said the PSA was hoping to work with the government in looking at a pay equity plan for New Zealand.

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