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Women’s Day should highlight shameful pay equity

8th March 2012
For Immediate Release

International Women’s Day should highlight shameful pay equity record

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says International Women’s Day is a good time to highlight the government’s shameful record on pay and employment equity.

Latest figures show the gender pay gap has increased. The Quarterly Employment Survey figures show that the gender pay gap for the final quarter last year was 13%, an increase from 12.85% in the September quarter.

NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says that is clearly the result of the government’s lack of commitment on pay and employment equity.

When it took office three years ago the government scrapped the pay and employment equity unit within the Department of Labour and halted further pay and employment investigations.

“It has also systematically ignored evidence of institutional pay inequity within education,” Mr Goulter says.

A completed pay investigation involving around 800 Ministry of Education support workers who work with special needs children, found they are significantly underpaid when compared to male workers in other sectors who have similar skills levels and responsibilities.

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.

Mr Goulter says “it’s frustrating that despite firm evidence of institutional gender discrimination, no action has been taken on these issues and women continue to be denied the opportunities they deserve”.

NZEI continues to call on the government to show some real commitment to closing the gender pay gap, and ensure all women workers are treated fairly and equally.


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