Caregivers win historic pay battle

Payday has been hard fought for by women who work in the aged-care, home support and disability service sector, thanks to Kristine Bartlett, unions and supporters around the country, the Green Party said today.

The Government is expected to announce a settlement in the historic pay-equity case today, with 55,000 mostly female workers set to receive a pay rise.

“Women have been consciously underpaid and have been fighting for more pay for far too long. Today’s announcement is long overdue,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“Kristine Bartlett is a hero for her determination to see women paid more – despite Government interventions and stalling – and so are the thousands of other women who have joined her in this fight.

“The most lowly paid workers in New Zealand shouldn’t have had to fund court case after court case, with the Government opposing their efforts to see more pay.

“There is still work to be done to ensure all women are paid what they should be. I look forward to the Government supporting my member’s bill on pay transparency for women when it comes up for its first vote on May 10.

“My bill would see gender pay transparency indexes published so that women know if they are being underpaid. Women have the right to know if and by how much they are being underpaid so that they can work towards changing it.

“We can fix the gender pay imbalance in this country and ensure that every woman is paid what she’s worth.

“Even today’s announcement will still be phased in over many years, and these women have waited too long already. There is no moral justification for making women wait longer.

“Today is a great day for women in New Zealand, and part of a long journey towards women being acknowledged and valued for all the work that they do,” said Ms Logie. 

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