The Green Party has welcomed the Government’s announcement today that it will set up a joint employer-union working group to address claims under the Equal Pay Act.
“This is an historic victory, led by Kristine Bartlett and the union movement, who have fought to ensure all women are paid fairly for the work they do,” said Green Party Women’s spokesperson Jan Logie
“Kristine’s heroic battle has forced the National Government to treat the underpayment of women seriously.
“The negotiations over Equal Pay principles are a huge opportunity for the Government to improve the pay of women and their families, provided the Government takes the Working Group’s recommendations seriously and focuses on ending the exploitation of women rather than minimising costs to itself and employers.
“These women only had to go to court because the National Government scrapped all work on addressing equal pay for work for equal value, and their cases have been funded through the union fees of some of the lowest paid workers in NZ.
“The National Government should be congratulated for seeing the writing on the wall and deciding that it’s better to be on the right side of history. It's well overdue.
“The median hourly pay of men is nearly 12 percent, or $3 an hour, more than that of women, and this year the gender pay gap actually increased under National.
“It’s time for all political parties to show leadership on gender equity, and I hope the Government’s announcement today is the start of National finally getting that message.
“Last week the Greens announced that when in Government half of our Cabinet appointees will be women.
“I hope today’s announcement is a sign the Government is ready to take the lead on promoting gender equity,” Ms Logie said.