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Pay equity – full picture of underpaid women

CTU media release
14 December 2009

Pay equity – full picture of underpaid women revealed

The Government has finally released details of its pay and employment equity investigations which confirm that women in the public sector are significantly underpaid and discriminated against, revealed the CTU today.

According to the information sent to the CTU gender pay gaps in the public service range from 3 percent up to 35 percent, from 18-24 percent in Crown research institutes, and in public health one District Health Board reported that women earned on average 69 percent of men’s full-time equivalent earnings.

Across the public sector women are underrepresented in senior management, part-timers are disadvantaged and underutilised, workplace cultures inhibit women’s full participation and contribution, and opportunities for participation and progression for women are limited.

“It has taken the Government six months to publish information which they had in June about the discrimination suffered by women in the public sector,” said CTU President Helen Kelly. “In summary the Government proposes to do absolutely nothing about the central issue in gender inequity – the fact of unequal pay for work of equal value.”

“Had the Government allowed its pay and employment equity investigations to continue there might have been some hope for the thousands of women currently underpaid for the vital work they do in schools, health services and in government itself. The Government has denied them this basic fairness however, exposing its strategies as mere lip-service to the principles of pay equity.”

“At least the Department of Labour’s Pay and Employment Equity Toolkit is finally available on CD and should be taken up and acted on in all corners of the public and private sector to help avoid the continuation of this deplorable situation.”


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