Pay equity a step closer - now show us the money, Paula Bennett


The government’s early adoption of the equal pay principles is welcome - but National needs to back up its words with action, the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi says.

State Services Minister Paula Bennett has announced that while legislation based on the Joint Working Group’s recommendation has yet to be passed, the principles will apply to current claims.

This includes the PSA’s claim for social workers employed by the Ministry of Social Development, soon to become the Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki.

"We are very pleased the government’s taking such a pragmatic approach to the equal pay principles," PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

"Our members in social work have been undervalued for decades, and progressing this claim will make a material difference to their lives - and that of their whanau.

"But we would like an assurance from Ms Bennett that this announcement will be coupled with extra funding for the salaries of these men and women."

The PSA has been campaigning for equal pay since 1914.

"Although the government says pay equity is a priority, not a single cent has yet been paid out as a result of Kristine Bartlett’s court case and the subsequent negotiations," Ms Polaczuk says.

"After more than 100 years campaigning, the PSA is more interested in deeds than words.

"We call on Ms Bennett to take concrete steps towards pay equity - and that means funding.

"We hope this year’s Budget will put National’s money where its mouth is."