PSA women make the case for stronger equal pay law

The PSA and the PSA Women's Network are excited to be making oral submissions today on a bill that will help ensure wāhine are paid what they're worth.

The submissions on the Equal Pay Amendment Bill will be heard by the Education and Workforce Select Committee.

"It's great the pay equity principles will be adopted into the new legislation," says PSA national secretary Kerry Davies.

"The PSA was part of the joint working group which developed those principles to guide the implementation of equal pay for female dominated occupations."

"Enshrining them in law will give greater certainty to women workers."

PSA member Judy Robb was one of the care and support workers to benefit from the first equal pay settlement for Kiwi women.

She’ll tell the committee the settlement means she’s no longer "living on the edge".

"Before that fatigue from working two jobs contributed to a car crash that was a wake-up call for me. But once the pay equity rates were introduced I could work safer hours.

"I was also able to do the things that normal people do like visit my grandchildren and take them out for takeaways.

"Before I almost felt embarrassed to say I was a support worker because of the low pay rates. Now I feel valued as someone who provides care and support for the vulnerable in our community."

Along with the care and support worker settlement, the PSA was involved in negotiating pay equity settlements for vocational disability workers, mental health and addiction support workers, and social workers at Oranga Tamariki.

It is also pursuing equal pay claims for DHB administration and clerical workers, and library assistants.