Equal Pay for DHB Allied, Public Health & Technical
20 Dec 2019
For information about our pay equity claim covering work done by all members who are in predominantly female occupations and under the coverage of the Auckland and RONZ Allied, Public Health and Technical MECAs.
The PSA Allied Public Health and Technical Pay Equity claim is formally underway now with the signing of the terms of reference (see under the 'Documents' tab).
The Pay Equity Group
The Pay Equity Group comprises representatives from State Services Commission (SSC), Treasury, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and relevant government ministries (MOH or Education) to oversee all the claims.
The Government has also appointed a Crown Negotiator who will be working with them, the DHBs, and the governance group to settle the claims once undervaluation has been identified.
Update 24 June, 2020:
Allied, Public Health and Technical is the most complex of all the pay equity claims that have been raised so far. During lockdown we asked to DHBs for information relating to the claimants and this week we start meetings with some key professional reference groups. We will be forming an oversight group of delegates and organisers to support the work going forwards.
The initial phase of the claim is interviewing claimant (allied, public health and technical) roles. Initially we will decide which roles to interview, how many, and in which DHBs. We need to ensure we have interviewed a range of roles, in different sized DHBs to ensure we have enough evidence to assess if there is undervaluation based on gender.
Despite the delay in starting we will be able to utilise information from the previous claims to truncate the process. Interviewing potential comparators (male dominated roles) and creating their summary profiles (comprehensive descriptions of the work they do) is the most time-consuming piece of work but this work will have already been completed in our previous claims.
Good news – the Pay Equity process for APHTS members has commenced. What is Pay Equity, and what does it mean for you?
What is Pay Equity?
Our equal pay laws say that women and men should be paid equal pay for work of equal value. This is called pay equity. If a female dominated occupation has the same or similar skills, effort, conditions of work and qualifications as a male dominated occupation, then they should be paid the same.
Pay equity differs from ‘equal pay’. Equal pay means two people who are doing the same job should be paid the same regardless of their gender. Pay equity also differs from pay parity. Pay parity is the same pay for the same job across different employers or workplaces (e.g. receptionists at one DHB or within a DHB should both be paid the same).
What has happened so far?
PSA lodged a claim for all occupational groups covered by the APHT MECAs in our last bargaining. Even though the claim is complex - covering about 60 professions and 11,000 FTE - we are stronger together. If we had put in separate claims for each occupation, it could take years to do each one in turn.
In December 2019 PSA and the DHBs agreed a Terms of Reference for the APHT pay equity process.
We have now set up occupational reference groups made up of active PSA members, who will be the brains trust and experts for each occupation as we go through the pay equity assessment process.
We have also established a PSA Oversight Group made up of PSA representatives whose job it is to be directly involved at a national level, representing all members and keeping in touch with the reference groups. That group has begun meeting with DHB reps in this process.
What are the key stages of the pay equity claim process?
In broad terms, the key stages of the pay equity claim process are:
(1) Investigating the work being done by APHT occupations (claimants) and comparators (male-dominated occupations) using a gender-neutral tool.
(2) Assessing remuneration for the claimant and comparator roles,
(3) If undervaluation of the claimant roles is established, negotiating an outcome for the pay equity claim.
What roles will be assessed in the Allied, Public Health, Scientific and Technical claim?
We will be interviewing PSA members in a sample of roles at a number of locations and different sized DHBs.
We cannot interview every PSA member nor can we review every position. This would take a very long time, since we are looking at historical and current undervaluation due to gender, we don’t need to do this in order to get the information we need.
Interviewing this sample will establish the value of the roles and then consider the degree of undervaluation that is present (i.e. what the equal pay rate should be).
What can you do?
Spread the word, talk about it with your colleagues, come to pay equity meetings, keep up to date with progress, be active in your workplace to help keep momentum in this historical process.
Our claim covers work done by all members who are in predominantly female occupations and under the coverage of the Auckland and RONZ Allied, Public Health and Technical MECAs.
The claim makes the case that employees in female dominated occupations have had their work undervalued because that work has traditionally been ‘women’s work’.
The DHBs have accepted our claim and agree that this work in DHBs is predominantly done by women and it is arguable that the work is currently and/or historically been undervalued, while noting that agreeing to proceed with a pay equity claim does not in itself predetermine a pay equity outcome.
In the few instances where the occupations under our coverage are not female dominated, we have advised the DHBs that if under valuation is identified (as we expect) in the female dominated occupational groups then in the settlement phase we will seek to ensure male dominated occupations maintain pay parity with the groups they currently have a relativity with.
The diagram below sets out the stages of the processes we need to follow to settle our claim:
Of all the claims filed so far in the DHBs (including Clerical Admin and Nursing) this claim is perhaps the most complex due to the large number of occupational groups it covers. However, the work and data that will already have been collected in the other claims will expedite this claim.