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Government Should Be Shamed Into Action Over Pay And Employment Equity

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Government Should Be Shamed Into Action Over Pay And Employment Equity

A new report showing women losing ground in terms of pay and employment equity should shame the government into action, says the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.

The Census of Women's Participation by the Human Rights Commission shows that women's participation in governance, professional and public life has slipped. It also shows that women in the public sector are paid 15% less than men for doing the same of similar work.

NZEI says the figures are particularly disheartening as the Government has clear evidence of pay inequity for thousands of education workers, yet refuses to do anything about it.

A 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.

A separate report of the Pay Equity Review of the Compulsory Schooling Sector found that across all occupational groups in schools, there were areas where women were not being treated fairly or were being discriminated against in terms of pay, career advancement and value of their work.

NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says "it is astonishing that in 2010 New Zealand finds itself in a position where equality for women in the workplace is actually slipping rather than improving and the responsibility lies squarely with the Government."

The National-led government has undone a lot of the progress made by scrapping the pay and employment equity unit and halting all further pay and employment investigations in the public sector.

The Human Rights Commission Report says New Zealand is unlikely to meet its international obligations to have pay parity in the public sector by the end of the year.

"Failing to address pay and employment equity marginalises women and shuts them out of the economic recovery. The government should be ashamed," says Mr Goulter.

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