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Action on pay transparency cannot wait

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Government to pass a law requiring all employers to take action on gender, Māori, Pacific, and other ethnic pay gaps.

Today, the Human Rights Commission released an open letter urging the Government to take action.

Komiti Pasefika Co-Convenor Caroline Mareko said the move would help to level the playing field.

“Pacific people have faced barriers in employment for decades. Komiti Pasefika wants measures put in place to ensure the pay gaps for Pacific people are closed in less than 20 years, not 120 years.

“We want fair remuneration, work/life balance, supportive managers who care, respect, honour and value Pacific peoples and safe and inclusive workplaces with strong health and safety practices.“

The recent Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry Report found that in 2021 for every dollar earned by a Pākehā man, Pākehā women were paid 89 cents. For Māori men the amount drops to 86 cents and Māori women 81 cents. For Pasefika workers, men were paid just 81 cents and Pacific women only 75 cents.

Komiti Pasefika Co-Convenor Nia Bartley said all working people deserved to be paid fairly, regardless of gender or ethnicity.

“Closing these pay gaps will go a long way to reducing poverty and inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand. With our current cost-of-living crisis, this issue is particularly urgent.”

NZCTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh said the union movement was proud to stand with the Human Rights Commission in demanding better for working people.“

Transparency is a vital step towards closing our pay gaps. From here, we can ensure working people are engaged in the solutions in addressing the pay gaps.  When we lift up the lowest paid workers, our whole society benefits.”