By Elizabeth Orr
At the beginning of her memoir Elizabeth Orr pledges to tell the truth about the fight for pay equity for women, her reasoning being that it has lessons for the future.
Born in 1929, Elizabeth was a trade union leader, involved in the formation of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW), and in the passing of the Equal Pay Act in 1972.
Her memoir has fascinating details of the fight for equal pay, culminating in the Kristine Bartlett case, but it is not at all a dry retelling of that fight. It is a wonderful story of life in New Zealand, told in a gentle, authentic voice.
I enjoyed the story she tells of discovering an unknown part of her own story when she realises one of the women in a photo of a PSA equal pay campaign committee circa 1943 is her aunt Oenone Greig.
Elizabeth has been a friend and colleague to many others within the PSA .The book is available from steeleroberts.co.nz
Nā Nanette Cormack
PSA members and local communities joined forces in February to protest restructuring that threatened hundreds of jobs and quality client care.
While the restructuring by HealthCare NZ is now set to go ahead the protests have thrown a spotlight on issues besetting the home care and support sector.
Union organisers from the Pacific have spoken about the challenges some face while trying to improve conditions for workers in their countries.