Today oral submissions begin on the Equal Pay Amendment Bill and the Council of Trade Unions is one of the first off the blocks to support this law at Select Committee.
"We all know that Kiwis believe in fairness. This Bill will make New Zealand a fairer place by making sure women are paid fairly," CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.
Jeanette Wilkinson will also be making an oral submission today. Jeanette is a medical secretary, a role she has been in for over 18 years and she’s passionate that all working women should have a brighter future, "Every day I make a difference in people’s lives. I transcribe technical, complicated information about people’s bodies. The field I specialise in is complex. it’s my job to understand the medications and procedures being described so that sick people can get better. The doctors tell me what an important job I do and patients and their families value me but I have never earnt enough to save for my retirement."
"I want anyone who works in a role which has been mostly done by women, to be paid a fair wage, a wage which finally values the importance of their work. A wage which allows them to support themselves and their families and allows them to save for their retirement," Wilkinson said.
"The pathways for this legislation were worked through extremely thoroughly by the Joint Working Group on Equal Pay. Agreement was reached and the legislation reflects that process," Wagstaff said.
"There is still more that can be done to ensure that equal pay becomes a reality and we’ll be seeking some important improvements to the Bill. But this is an excellent step forward. We will continue to work with government and business to break down the barriers which prevent gender equality," Wagstaff said.