Pay Equity – What’s Taking So Long?

By   /   August 13, 2016  /   10 Comments

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A ground-breaking tripartite recommendation establishing the principles of pay equity in New Zealand should be accepted by the Government any day now.

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A ground-breaking tripartite recommendation establishing the principles of pay equity in New Zealand should be accepted by the Government any day now.

Thanks to the tenacity of the former Service and Food Workers Union – now part of E Tu – and delightful determination of rest home carer Kristine Bartlett, the principles have been developed at the direction of the Employment Court.

Employers, union and Government representatives have worked over 6 months to agree on the comprehensive principles which will guide collective bargaining and set-up a process for claims to be lodged through the court where negotiations fail to achieve equal pay.

The working party was chaired by “Governer General-elect” Dame Patsy Reddy.

The resulting document bears a striking resemblance to the concepts established in the Pay Equity Act which Labour passed in 1990 – only to have it repealed in 1991 by an incoming National Government.

How bitter-sweet it would be to have the current Government correct that act against the women of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

The Government has been considering the document for a few months now and it is hard to understand what the hold-up is, given the parties spent a solid 6 months agreeing how to resolve the problem of people in female-dominated occupations being paid less than what the work would worth if it was done by a male-dominated workforce.

The Government must implement the document as delivered – anything less would amount to political interference against the interests of women and their families.

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About the author

Sue Moroney

Labour Party MP.

Sue Moroney is a Labour MP based in Hamilton where she lives with her husband and two teenaged sons. Her list of "ists" include being proud to be a trade unionist, feminist and former journalist (and community newspaper editor). Sue is Labour's Spokesperson for Transport, ACC, Workplace Safety, Pay Equity and Paid Parental Leave. She has formerly held responsibilities as Chief Whip, Spokesperson for Education, Social Development, Women's Affairs, Early Childhood Education and Aged Care. Her no. 1 horse racing tip is "never bet more than you can afford to lose" and pointing out that if she really knew what horse was going to win, she probably wouldn't be working long hours for a living.

10 Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Another piece of pointless legislation.

    It’s no wonder Sue fails to win a constituency

    • In Vino says:

      Sue (or her predecessor) does win when the country leans away from National. If Sue does win next time, National will be out on their backside. Your cheap snipes ill become you. If National loses either Hamilton East or Hamilton West, it probably loses the election.They are both close, swinging electorates. The actual candidates have little meaning, sad to say. The National candidates have very little to say, and even less of meaning. It is now MMP, and party vote counts. Party votes come from outside Sue’s electorate.
      Stop making pointless comments.

    • Andrea says:

      “Employers, union and Government representatives have worked over 6 months…”

      Ms Moroney is reporting progress, as such.

      As so many have been involved I am, unusually, having difficulty seeing the relevance of your second sentence.

      Unless you were feeling a little liverish?

      I take exception to two portions:
      “what the work would worth if it was done by a male-dominated workforce.” “Worth” is the sticky word and it changes whether you are convincing some sucker to buy, or whether you are trying to get something on the cheap. Not a smart word to use in these circumstances.

      “anything less would amount to political interference against the interests of women and their families”
      It has ever been so. And this is another sticky plaster over a deep wound. The whole mucky ‘state of the economy’, work that pays, killer jobs, taking the oxygen from aspiration etc – that level of thinking seems to be quite beyond the usual pollie.

      Can we have David Cunliffe back? He comes across as greater than opinion polls. Bigger than the problems we face. More than just a touch of vision and practicality.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      “The Government must implement the document as delivered – anything less would amount to political interference against the interests of women and their families.”

      Good call Sue, this dictatorship is out of any moral fibre like Andrew shows also, National does not care about our people at all and would rather ship us off to a Naru prison if we complain about the reckless way they treat us all.

      Andrew’s Government is a fascist Government that fails any compassion at all, unless their mates can capitalise from it.

      Incidentally this NatZ administration have an agenda to control us all when and where they please and any “fair time to respond to anything meaningful does not count to them as they have forward plans for their own secret agenda’s to act with stealth.

      Just look at the Government interference with Kiwirail going on actively now for four years in HB/Gisborne currently, as the HBRC/Port of Napier are long awaiting an overdue signed agreement to fund an almost $6 million dollar deal to use Kiwirail to move logs on rail from Wairoa to Napier port and government are apparently interfering with it.

      Evidence is appearing now Government are holding it up suggesting a study to use the corridor for bikes two weeks ago!!!!!

      This evil Government are forcing Kiwirail to scrap any deal to use our rail still as it is in reasonable order, in the shadow of a Port of Napier report that they warn a wall of wood is coming fast now and logging trucks are running at over 2000 trips a day though our streets suburbs and destroying residents lives 24/7!!!

      So yes this Government won’t care to do anything so we need to get rid of them all next year, and rescind all their parliamentary changes they made, and return NZ to an equal opportunity place for all as it used to be.

      You are shadow labour Transport so please on behalf of our community arrange with Stuart to come to Stuart Nash’s electorate, and meet us about this in Napier as soon as you can please?
      He meets us regularly and could do with your assistance.

  2. OneTrack says:

    If some women feel they are not earning enough money, they is nothing NOTHING stopping them getting another job in a different industry where the pay is higher.

    • If some women feel they are not earning enough money, they is nothing NOTHING stopping them getting another job in a different industry where the pay is higher.

      Onetrack must be a sexist dumb-dumb, anti worker idiot who believes that there is no unemployment in NZ, imagine if all the female nurses left and went off to become lets say mechanics or such like who the hell would look after our sick and elderly.

      Unequal pay is not a sin…its a bloody crime, Onetrack needs to get a life and grow up.

    • Christina says:

      This completely misses the point of the equal pay/pay equity case.

    • Nevada says:

      You must be kidding!? Are you trying to say that because there are other jobs out there that pay a proper wage, that women (and men doing the same job) should not be payed the true value of the work they are doing? Let me ask you this… If it was your mother, or child that was needing care from these people, how would you expect them to be paid? And knowing they were giving up their time and effort for less than a living wage?

    • J9 says:

      The whole point of this exercise is that it’s unlawful to pay according to gender and that employers have been skidding along unnoticed since the 70’s. Since this case involves a health service it means govt will have to up their funding. This could drag for ages. If it was as simple as changinging jobs we would… oh yeah… Women are paid less no matter where we end up!

  3. Garibaldi says:

    Andrew and onetrack. Two cold , heartless and ignorant comments in true right wing style.