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Waiting for equal pay

What do a nurse, an early childhood teacher and a medical transcriptionist have in common?

Source: CTU


They are all waiting on equal pay. And today, early childhood teacher Chloe Lundie-Hodge, neonatal intensive care nurse Emma Morgan and medical transcriptionist Anne Shanks presented the signatures of over eight and a half thousand other equal paysupporters to Dr Jackie Blue in Wellington.

"On International Women’s Day, it’s heartening to know that so many other New Zealanders want to see equal pay for all women now," New Zealand Educational Institute member Chloe said. "I also really appreciated that the Human Rights Commission has held an open forum for women to tell their stories for a submission to the United Nations. There are many steps to full equality for women in New Zealand, but getting the pay equity principles into law and better funding education roles like mine needs to happen this year."

New Zealand Nurses Organisation member Emma told Dr Blue that because nursing has been seen as ‘women’s work’ the intense responsibility of her role is not reflected in her pay. "Our skill literally means the difference between life and death for very fragile premature or ill babies. My job can be emotionally intense, and we put in long hours, but we do it because we change families’ lives for the better. All we are asking is for society to take another look at the value nurses bring, and whether that’s fairly recognised."

Medical transcriptionist Anne thanked her union, the Public Service Association for taking up an equal pay claim on behalf of admin and clerical workers. "The funny thing is, health administrative roles used to be paid more and seen as a ‘specialist’ skill several decades ago when it was done mostly by men. The PSA is willing to unpick the complex history of our pay and bargain on our behalf, and I’m grateful for them standing up for us. But the principle of our claim is very simple. In 2018, we shouldn’t be paid less just because mostly women now tend to do admin. That’s been the law for over forty years."

The Council of Trade Unions is campaigning for a better equal pay law for all women to be able to take claims, within the next 250 days.


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