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Government working group may bring progress towards equal pay for work of equal value

Working people are cautiously celebrating today’s announcement that the Government will now formally enter discussions into how to lift women’s pay to properly value their work.

CTU President, Richard Wagstaff said today was a significant milestone for working people “It is good that the Government is ready to negotiate equal pay principals to ensure working people are being paid equally for work of equal value as intended by the Equal Pay Act.”

“These talks are a step forward for equal pay for all working women in New Zealand.”

“This is an exciting time. Unions have been in the forefront of the push for women to be valued for the work they do. Women working in female dominated areas will now be able to use the equal pay principles to get the recognition they deserve.”

“Union members and their unions look forward to continuing to take a leadership role in this process. Many women’s organisations and community activists have been campaigning on this issue for a long time. Today’s announcement is also a tribute to their work.”

“The Government has today signalled its intention to settle the equal pay court case brought about by resthome caregiver Kristine Bartlett out of court through negotiation. This recognises that that the work done by a female dominated workforce has been undervalued and under paid because of the majority of those working in our resthomes are women,” Wagstaff said.

While the CTU would participate actively in the group, unions will continue to consider pay claims for female dominated occupations and stay prepared in case progress is not made through this process.