Pay Equity Unit Protest
Pay Equity Unit Protest Press Release
This afternoon young men and women from Dunedin protested outside National list MP Michael Woodhouse’s office on the corner of Jetty and Princes Streets. Protesters wore masks of National MP’s and held placards demonstrating their dissatisfaction with Nationals scrapping of the Department of Labour’s Pay Employment Equity Unit and training incentive allowances for single parents.
These funding cuts have outraged women across New Zealand who are, on average, paid 12% less than their male counterparts in the same jobs.
Following chants of “We’re Worth more” and “Bring out Bill”, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English emerged from the locked doors of Woodhouse’s office and spoke to protesters. His comments that those present were “out of touch” and that “pay equity is not a priority” outraged the young people who had turned out to express their concerns.
Dunedin Young Labour co-chair Lauren Hourigan responded “Pay equity is a priority to all women in the workforce or in training for the workforce and English’s attitude today clearly demonstrated how much they listen to their constituents. “
Jess Holmes of Campus Greens said “Bill English attempted to address our concerns and fell short of our point. This has confirmed my fears that National will not hear us or do anything about pay equity. They see it as a low priority. This is unacceptable to the majority of workers who are lucky enough to have kept our jobs. We feel that even though we should value our employment, our employers still need to value us.”