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

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election