16 October 2018
As the Equal Pay Amendment Bill has its first reading, a 12-year struggle for pay equity will also draw to a close for Education Support Workers, who will be receiving their first payslips with pay increases of up to 30% today.
Other low-paid workers in the education sector are hopeful that they will not face such a lengthy and difficult process as Education Support Workers, with the Bill set to speed up pay equity negotiations for thousands of workers who are underpaid because they do jobs traditionally considered “women’s work”.
The Bill will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim, using a simpler and more accessible process within the existing bargaining framework.
NZEI Te Riu Roa is negotiating a pay equity settlement for teacher aides with the Ministry of Education and has claims being developed for other school support staff and early childhood teachers and support staff.
NZEI President Lynda Stuart said workers in female-dominated industries were no longer willing to put up with being paid less than those working in comparable male-dominated occupations with similar skills and responsibilities.
“All political parties have acknowledged this injustice and we congratulate the Labour-led Government on taking genuine action to make it easier to negotiate a pay equity claim,” she said.
“We urge the National Party to support this Bill and be on the right side of history. Justice delayed is justice denied, and it’s time all workers got a fair go.”