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Equality for women is progress for all

Equality for women is progress for all

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is joining organisations around the country and the world celebrating International Women’s Day on Saturday 8 March. The United Nations theme for Women’s Day 2014, 'Equality for women is progress for all', is particularly appropriate for our members who work as caregivers on poverty wages in the residential aged care sector.

NZNO lead organiser Lyn Olsthoorn says, “Many New Zealanders think we live in a country where there is equal opportunity for all but unfortunately that’s not the case. Women still earn less than men, for no other reason than their gender. The gender pay gap affects women across all occupational groups, even lawyers and chartered accountants.”

“So, on Saturday we will be celebrating International Women’s Day by promoting our campaign that aims to go ‘All the way for equal pay!’”

‘All the way for equal pay!’ is a joint campaign between the Service and Food Workers Union , Nga Ringa Tota and NZNO, that aims to achieve equal pay for the female dominated workforce who hold up the residential aged care sector. A test case under the Equal Pay Act has been taken and the judgement gives the Act the ability to do what was originally intended – make a gender-free pay comparison. This has subsequently been appealed but we sense the tide has turned from greed to fairness and we will prevail.

Currently caregivers around the country are taking cases under the Equal Pay Act. Last year claims for 400 members were filed and it is expected that claims for thousands more will be filed in 2014.

“The work caregivers and health care assistants do for our vulnerable elderly is incredibly important in our society. We will all lose if we don’t recognise the value of the work with a fair and decent pay rate that’s equal to what would be paid if the sector were male-dominated,” Olsthoorn says.

“Equality for women is progress for us all!”

To find out more about the ‘All the way for equal pay!’ campaign and to sign our supporter’s pledge go towww.equalpay.org.nz and to learn more about International Women’s Day and the United Nations theme, ‘Equality for women is progress for all’ go to https://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/

ENDS

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