Equal pay for all

Equal pay for all

As we celebrate the success of our sisters in securing voting rights 126 years ago, the PSA is leading the struggle for pay equality.

Equal Pay BW3We’re pushing for equal pay across our union with the launch of new claims in recent months.

Our union wide strategy can be seen in the raising of claims for NGO social workers and social services workers at five not-for-profit providers. We’re also pursuing our claim for library workers in local government.

These claims along with our claim for DHB admin workers could be a springboard for claims for women doing similar work in other sectors.

“Work undertaken for one claim to prove women have been undervalued, could be relevant to another. This would save us from having to start from scratch with each new claim.

“We are promoting ways to speed up the elimination of discrimination, and robust processes to identify it” says PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.


The PSA has partnered with the National Council of Women and other unions to encourage members to wear black and white for pay equity on Suffrage Day.

“It’s a way to take the pay equity message out into the community, beyond workers who are actively pursuing claims,” says PSA Equal Pay organiser Jo Taylor.

“We want to demonstrate public support for closing the gender pay gap and to encourage the government to speed up implementation.”


The PSA also continues to push for stronger legislation through the Equal Pay Amendment Bill.

We are advocating for the bill to remove obstacles to accessing the courts, put time limits on bargaining, and make sector wide, multi-employer settlements easier.



  • 2017 Care and Support workers
  • 2018 Mental Health and Addiction support workers
  • 2018 Oranga Tamariki social workers

In negotiation with employers:

  • DHB admin/clerical workers - bargaining to start soon following the completion of interviews and data analysis
  • DHB allied health workers - terms of reference being finalised
  • DHB mental health nurses – 200 interviews being conducted across allDHBs
  • Local Government Library Assistants – claim made to six big councils, terms of reference being exchanged
  • NGO social workers and social service workers – letters sent to five employers raising pay equity claims

Under consideration:

  • Administration and support workers across PSA

Also in this issue:

President's Message


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Vote 2019 NZ!

Vote 2019 is your chance to help shape the future of your community, according to PSA Vice-President and Auckland Council delegate Benedict Ferguson.

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Vote for healthy communities

That’s why in 2019 we urge you to vote for DHB candidates who support four priorities which are crucial for our workers in district health boards, and for all of us who may need health services now or in the future:

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Let's Bring This Home

But despite these hard fought victories the income and hours of support workers remain insecure – forcing many to leave the jobs they love.

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Te Ao Tūmatanui: Strengthening the Māori Crown relationship

It includes expectations public service leaders work in partnership with Māori to deliver services that work for Māori, and develop a workforce that reflects the community it serves.

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Ask the Minister

*CH:* People will still work in the departments or agencies they work in now. Over time they might see more alignment of the terms and conditions of similar jobs across the public service because at the moment we know there is variation.

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PSA says reforms a ‘significant step forward’

While the Government’s plan for public service reform does not reverse many of the neo-liberal elements of the State Sector Act it still represents a significant step forward. The reforms will provide better mechanisms to enable cross agency work and help break down silos in government.

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Suffrage Day: ‘Our members are worth 100% and shouldn’t have to rattle buckets to get it’

“As a school social worker I’m responsible for more than 600 kids and I earn about the same amount as I did twenty years ago working in a bank.”

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Mind the gap! Taking action on gender pay

Gender Pay BW2 Statistics NZ data shows a 9.3% difference in the median hourly earnings of men and women in 2018 - a significant improvement on the 16.2% difference in 1998, but largely unchanged from 2017.

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