Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Landmark Equal Pay Case Opens

24 June 2013

Landmark Equal Pay Case Opens

A landmark legal case affecting thousands of low-paid women workers commenced today in the Auckland Employment Court. The case will continue tomorrow and Wednesday.

The case, taken by the Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota, supported by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, focuses on long-term caregiver Kristine Bartlett and whether her pay rate of $14.32 an hour is consistent with the Equal Pay Act 1972.

“After 20 years of caregiving for vulnerable elderly people, Kristine is on little more than the minimum wage,” said John Ryall, National Secretary of the SFWU.

“This rate is typical across the aged care sector. Clearly this rate is totally inadequate given the skills, responsibility and effort required to do the job.”

John Ryall said Kristine’s employer, Terranova Homes and Care Limited, says that Kristine and the other 110 female caregivers working in its residential care homes do receive equal pay because they get paid the same as their six male caregiver colleagues.

“The SFWU says caregivers in aged care do not receive equal pay,” said John Ryall.

The Union's argument is that the Equal Pay Act, which extended the 1960 Government Service Equal Pay Act to the private sector, is designed not just to bring equal pay between male and female pay rates for the same work in the same workplace, but has provisions to apply a broader application.

“It is this broader application that must apply for female-intensive occupations such as caregiving as the few male caregivers and their pay rates are largely bound up by the gender segmentation that exists in this sector. In other words, they are treated as "honorary females",” said John Ryall.

“This is not just the union's view. Section 3(1)(b) of the Equal Pay Act says that in female-dominated occupations the Employment Court needs to assess what a male worker would be paid for the same skills, responsibility, service and degree of effort if the gender segmentation did not exist.”

John Ryall said the outcome of the case could affect not only thousands of caregivers in aged care, but other occupational groups where the pay was low simply because the work was predominantly done by women.

“This case is long overdue. The International Labour Organisation has regularly asked the New Zealand Government about the lack of cases to apply pay equity in New Zealand given the lack of progress on closing the our male-female wage gap,” he said.

“While the Government has argued that it has a legal framework to deliver pay equity we will see from this Employment Court case whether it is able to deliver justice for the 30,000 caregivers that it funds.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news