Pay Equity Faxathon
This is just a quick post to alert people to the Pay Equity Faxathon that is going on today. The union I belong to, Tertiary Education Union (TEU), supports this action and has an ongoing campaign for all working women to have the same pay and employment opportunities as men.
Displeasure at pay-equity cancellation grows
Women’s groups and unions have expressed ongoing concern following the government’s decision last month to discontinue two pay and employment equity investigations which would have looked to address the pay gap between men and women in the public sector.
CTU president Helen Kelly said after the state sector minister’s announcement:
“It is one thing to urge pay restraint in the public sector but quite another to endorse the unfair underpayment of these workers. The Government is effectively telling its own female employees that it doesn’t care if it is discriminating against them.”
“Women deserve better treatment than this. The Government’s actions send out an unacceptable message to other employers in New Zealand. We say that the economic situation cannot be used to justify discriminatory pay and conditions.
The cancelled investigations do not affect the tertiary education sector, where a programme to investigate pay and employment equity is continuing to progress in almost all institutes of technology and polytechnics, in one wananga and at least one university. However, it does undermine the comprehensive ambitions of the pay and employment equity programme, which may require government support to address specific findings that emerge from the pay investigations and work to date.
Feminist group, the Hand Mirror, has organised a “faxathon” for tomorrow encouraging working women to organise a morning tea at their workplace and send the minister faxes expressing their displeasure at his decision to cancel the two pay and employment investigations and “immediately re-instate this important commitment to fairness and equality.”
TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs is supporting the faxathon saying it is important to let the new government know that pay and employment equity is an important issue in the tertiary sector:
“The pay and employment equity programme in the tertiary education sector is expected to show up some areas of inequality and bias against women, similar to the public sector. The government needs to support the programme fully and challenge this discrimination in our workplaces. Now is not the time for it to be signalling that it does not value pay and employment equity.”
For more about pay and employment equity and the “faxathon” visit TEU’s Pay and Employment Equity page