• Posted on: 10/11/2021
  • 2 minutes to read
  • Tagged with: Auckland Council Wellington City Council Christchurch City Council Local Government Dunedin City Council

Progress

Work on our Pay Equity Claim for Library Assistants, initially covering six councils across NZ, has started this year with meetings and discussions held throughout the country.  Library workers have been keen to talk about both the equity issues they face and the constant variation and changes to their work. 

We are currently working through the interviewee selection process after receiving fantastic interest from members wanting to play an active role in their claim. We are looking at interviewing those in variety of roles, from different types of libraries, located around NZ.  Interview training and the interviews themselves should be completed by May, when we will then start the comparator process. We will be using the pay equity work assessment tool Te Orowaru, which also is designed to help recognise the value of cultural skills in work, including te reo Māori.

If you are reading this and would like more information or want to be involved, it’s not too late – please contact:
sarah.stone@psa.org.nz

This pay equity claim is in the: Assessment Phase.

 

Background

"We are seeking pay equity to right an historical injustice. Over 80% of library assistants are women. We perform complex roles, but there is little financial reward for doing so.” - Eleanor Hagerty-Drummond, Library Assistant, Wellington City Council, PSA delegate and Library panel member

In May 2019 the PSA notified the six large urban councils that we believe library assistants working in local government suffer from illegal gender-based pay discrimination, and that they have an arguable equal pay claim under the Equal Pay Act 1972

Note: While this claim only pertains to people doing the job of library assistants, the PSA believes that all local government workers who are working in female dominated occupations are likely to suffer from gender-based pay discrimination. This includes other library workers and administration and clerical workers. Our aim is to use equal pay settlements achieved in one occupation, or in another sector, to achieve equal pay across our membership.

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Related documents

For more information:

View the presentation by PSA delegate Suzie Moore to the LIANZA conference on the Pay Equity claim for library assistants, presented on 11 November 2021.

Your union, the PSA, Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi, has set a strategic goal to have settled female dominated occupational claims
in every sector of the PSA by 2021. In April 2017, research commissioned by the PSA was released by Catriona McLennan and gives an analysis of the jobs of library assistants and senior library assistants. The findings can be summed up by this quote from an Auckland Library Assistant.

“Two Library Assistants could never fall in love. They could never buy a house. One of them could never have time off to have a child. Library Assistants need to marry people who earn good money.”

In May 2019 the PSA notified the six large urban councils – Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin that we believe library assistants working in local government suffer from illegal gender-based pay discrimination, and that they have an arguable equal pay claim under the Equal Pay Act 1972. We have asked these six councils to set up a joint working group to resolve our claim using the 2017 Reconvened Joint Working Group Principles of Pay Equity.

While this process only pertains to people doing the job of library assistants, the PSA believes that all local government workers who are working in female dominated occupations are likely to suffer from gender-based pay discrimination. This includes other library workers and administration and clerical workers. Our aim is to use equal pay settlements achieved in one occupation, or in another sector, to achieve equal pay across our membership.