19th September 2011
Education workers will welcome true commitment to closing the pay gap
Education workers will welcome some true commitment to closing the gender pay gap as the government continues to turn a blind eye to the issue, says the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.
Labour has announced its Women’s’ Policy on Suffrage Day saying it will take steps to close the pay gap between female and male workers so that all women have the opportunity to thrive and succeed.
NZEI says gender pay discrimination affects thousands of low paid education workers, particularly school support staff.
An independent job evaluation report showed that when compared with male dominated jobs of corrections officers and cleaners, school support staff such as teacher aides and administrators were paid as much as $8 an hour less.
Other pay and employment equity investigations in education have also shown areas where women employees are not being treated fairly or are being discriminated against in terms of pay, career advancement and the value of their work.
NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says unfortunately the government has shamefully washed its hands of the issues.
“Not only has it failed to take the opportunity and improve the pay and conditions of thousands of low paid education workers but two years ago it moved to scrap the pay and employment equity unit within the Department of Labour and halted further pay and employment investigations”.
“A refocused commitment on pay equity will give thousands of low paid women workers hope and any policy which helps women, will also tangibly improve the lives of children and families,” says Mr Goulter.