Media Releases

Government agrees equal pay for men and women is right and fair

7 June 2016

Nurses, caregivers and other health care workers are pleased to hear a pathway to equal pay has been agreed by government, unions and employers. Cabinet has received the principles and are considering their response.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation industrial services manager, Cee Payne says, “People who work in occupations that have been traditionally considered ‘women’s work’ have been underpaid for decades. This announcement paves the way for those who work in female-dominated jobs to achieve equal pay.”
 
“Women must be paid the same as men for work of equal value. Equality is a value we hold dear. It’s great that the Government is now taking the legislative steps needed to make equal pay a reality. When the courts, government, unions, employers and working people all agree that we must make swift progress toward equal pay, we know we are on the side of fairness and justice.”
 
“There is another set of equal pay negotiations happening at the moment too. Kristine Bartlett, a caregiver with over 20 years’ experience, and who is paid mere cents over the minimum wage, won her equal pay case against her employer last year. Her case to find out what her ‘equal pay rate’ should be has been on hold while government and unions work to lift caregiver and support workers’ pay. We are calling on the Government to complete these negotiations and address the gender pay discrimination for caregivers working in aged care.”
 
“Over 65 percent of caregivers working in residential aged care* are the main income earners for their families. We estimate an equal pay rate of $26 an hour is fair. That would be the pathway to many families and whānau in Aotearoa New Zealand having decent lives.” Payne says.

Direct Media Enquiries To:


Rob Zorn
Communications and Media Advisor

rob.zorn@nzno.org.nz
027 431 2617  |  04 494 8242

Member enquiries: 0800 28 38 48 or nurses@nzno.org.nz