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National brushes aside voices for fair pay

29 October 2009 Media Advisory

National brushes aside voices for fair pay

National has dismissed out of hand a call by nearly 16,000 Kiwis to reduce the pay gap for women, Labour’s Associate Spokesperson on labour issues Darien Fenton said today.

The National Party-majority Transport and Industrial Relations Committee today issued its report into a petition of Labour MP Sue Moroney and 15,808 others.

“The petition, tabled a month ago, called on ‘the National Government to reverse its decision to scrap pay equity investigations for school support staff and social workers, implement the findings of previously completed pay and employment equity reviews, and develop a strategy to eliminate the gender pay gap in New Zealand’.

“Sadly, these voices have gone unheard. National’s members on the committee have high handedly decided that there are “no matters to bring to the attention of the House”.

“Labour is extremely disappointed with this gutless decision. We believe National should explain to the public its decision to dismantle pay equity investigations, which will lead to on-going financial disadvantage for the mainly female workers concerned and their families.

“We also believe that the select committee’s decision not to hear from the petitioners and the Government departments involved before deciding not to call for submissions was cowardly.

“But I suppose Kiwis should not be surprised at this Government’s carefree attitude to the earnings of lower and middle income New Zealanders. John Key last week flippantly called on teachers to dig into their own pockets to boost the income of school support staff.

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“This Government’s indifference the lower paid means New Zealand women are paying twice in the recession, as more women than men are also losing work – 62.5 per cent of the newly jobless are women,” Darien Fenton said.

Petition 2008/37 of Sue Moroney and 15,808 others

Report of the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee

The Transport and Industrial Relations Committee has considered Petition 2008/37 of Sue Moroney and 15,808 others, requesting that the House of Representatives “call on the National Government to reverse its decision to scrap pay equity investigations for school support staff and social workers, implement the findings of previously completed pay and employment equity reviews, and develop a strategy to eliminate the gender pay gap in New Zealand.”

The majority of us have no matters to bring to the attention of the House.

The Labour members disagree that there are no matters to be brought to the attention of the House in regard to the petition of Sue Moroney and 15,808 others.

Labour members believe that the 15,808 petitioners should have been given the opportunity for the matters raised in the petition to be examined by the select committee in more detail.

Labour members believe at the very least the select committee should have heard from the petitioner and the Government departments involved before deciding not to call for submissions.

Labour members are disappointed that the committee will not recommend to the Government that it consider the request of the petitioners. The Labour members believe that the Government should explain to the public their decision to dismantle pay equity investigations, which the Labour members believe will lead to on-going financial disadvantage for the workers concerned (predominantly women) and their families.

David Bennett
Chairperson

ENDS

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