Equal Pay

It's time women were paid 100%. Unless something’s done soon, today’s working women will never be paid on an equal footing with men - It’s quite possible our daughters won’t either.

Equal pay advocates are PSA members, male and female, who are the champions of equal pay in big and little ways at work and at home.   

As an equal pay advocate you will:

  • add your voice to PSA members’ fight for equal pay in our campaign: Worth 100%

  • talk to your workmates and ask them to join the union – the more people who join the union the sooner we will win equal pay

  • put up Worth 100% posters, hand out badges, leaflets and stickers

  • pass on updates about the Worth 100% campaign to your fellow workers and keep them in the loop

  • make your views known to politicians by talking to the MP in your local area – give them the relevant Worth 100% leaflets and explain how the pay gap affects you and your family

  • talk with your union delegates and organiser about planning equal pay activities for your area

  • attend events related to equal pay and take others along to them.

How to sign up:
Become a PSA equal pay advocate by clicking on the join campaign button.  You will automatically receive updates about the PSA Worth 100% campaign.

The PSA has also joined with the NZ Nurses Organisation and the SFWU  to get all women MPs to pledge to support pay based on the job not the gender. We're inviting members to send a personal letter to a woman MP on the equal pay website here.


The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly rate for women and for men. It’s closing at a snail’s pace, and we’ve still got a long way to go.

Women graduates are paid, on average, 6 per cent less than their male counterparts at the very start of their careers. Within four years, they are earning nearly $5,000 a year less and the gap continues to widen.

In the public sector, women are paid 14 per cent less than men but it’s an average that conceals massive pay gaps, up to a staggering 42 per cent at the Ministry of Defence.

The gender pay gap represents a huge loss of earnings over a working life that can severely limit a woman’s choices and those of her children. It can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and scrimping on food and heating costs.

Support work is paid around one-third less than work with similar levels of skills and qualifications but largely done by men.

Work done mainly by women is generally undervalued; skills and experience are largely ignored.

In the past, men were the bread-winners and women the carers and home-makers. When women entered the paid workforce, they were paid less than men by law. Historical assumptions still influence the pay difference between men and women.

Community-based support services for the elderly, disabled, and mentally ill are funded mainly by the government but provided by a minimum-wage workforce, mainly women. The low rates of pay don’t reflect the value of this essential work nor the range of skills required.

A job evaluation commissioned by the PSA found that support work is paid around one-third less than work with similar levels of skills and qualifications but largely done by men. Last year, the Employment Court found that a support worker’s $14.32 hourly rate was the result of gender discrimination in breach of the Equal Pay Act. The ground-breaking decision is under appeal.

Administrative work is another example of undervaluing work done mainly by women. In hospitals, it’s the only occupational group not to have national rates, with the result that, in some parts of the country, admin workers are paid little more than the minimum wage.

Men who work in these sorts of jobs are also disadvantaged by these low rates of pay.

Even in occupations that are not traditionally undervalued, women can experience discrimination and lower pay.

Fewer women are appointed to the higher-earning senior positions. Women make up 60 percent of the public service workforce but only 30 percent of the top jobs.

Discretionary pay systems, which have prevailed across the public sector, have been shown to disadvantage women. Women tend to be placed on lower starting rates than men with equivalent skills, and experience slower salary progression.


worth 100 signature

An image you can use in your email signature to promote pay equity and encourage PSA members to become pay equity advocates.


Pay equity poster

Pay equity poster



Pay equity booklet

Media Releases

Gender pay gap grows 19% in one year - action needed from Govt

The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 19% growth in the size of the gender pay gap – from 9.9% to 11.8% - shows the importance of strong action from Government on the issue of equal pay.

Continue reading

News from the PSA. Equal pay morning tea

Equal pay morning tea

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) delegates have been taking a lead on the issue of equal pay in their enterprise.

Continue reading

News from the PSA. Taking action for equal pay

Taking action for equal pay

Equal pay is on the move – alongside our own Worth 100% campaign for PSA members, other groups of workers like midwives and early childhood education support workers are now demanding to be paid according to their skills, not their gender.

Continue reading

News from the PSA. PSA strategic goals

PSA strategic goals

Our purpose is to build a union that is able to influence the industrial, economic, political and social environment in order to advance the interests of PSA members – creating a better working life for our members.

Continue reading

Media Releases

Equal pay hero Margaret Long remembered in speech by Labour leader

The Public Service Association (PSA) says it is fitting that the inaugural Margaret Long Memorial Lecture, given by Labour leader Andrew Little, is on the subject of equal pay.

Continue reading

News from the PSA. CTU Women's Awards

CTU Women's Awards

Two outstanding PSA women activists from different generations were among the recipients of the inaugural CTU Women's Council Inspiring Union Women's Awards.

Continue reading