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Equal Pay activists in Wellington not celebrating yet

Equal Pay activists in Wellington not celebrating new gender pay figures yet

The spokesperson for The Pay Equity Coalition Wellington, Sue O Shea, said today that there was little to celebrate in the latest gender pay gap statistics. “Progress continues to be painfully slow or stalled, whichever measure is used,” she said. “We need much faster movement on claims to hit the Government’s targets for a country that treats, and pays women fairly.”

The Coalition is particularly concerned about the yawning gap still being experienced by wāhine Māori and Pacific women compared with Pākehā men. The gap between Pacific women’ average hourly pay compared to Pākehā men is a staggering 31.5% and for wāhine Māori it is 27.8%. The overall average gender pay gap has worsened slightly, going from 13.1% to 13.9%.

“While we welcome the Government’s commitment to pay equality, we would like to see a pick up in the pace, and pay particular attention to pay discrimination against Māori and Pacific women” said Ms O’Shea. “At the current rate of reduction in the gender pay gap, the average women’s pay will be equal to men’s pay in the year 2136 , or one hundred and eighteen years from now.”

“As more pay equity claims are settled and other measures to address pay equality are implemented, we expect to see a noticeable narrowing of the overall gender pay gap narrowing. But it requires sustained effort. It requires effort from employers too who have to step up and comply with the law. As we put the agreed equal pay principles into new law this year, we expect employers to stay on top of their requirement to pay women fairly, and engage constructively in the new pay equity and equal pay processes.”

Ends

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