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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news