Saturday, 7 March 2009

Pay Equity Faxathon Thanks!

Yesterday's faxathon gave The Hand Mirror it's biggest day for hits ever, and hopefully we've encouraged the Government to have a bit of a think about whether or not this pay equity issue is just going to go away and die (correct answer: No it's not).

Thanks so much to everyone who took part, by fax, phone, mail, email or in person; by promoting the faxathon through linkage, tweeting, Facebook status updates, inviting people to the Facebook event, emailing your contacts, getting your workmates, whanau and friends to sign your fax; and no doubt lots of other things I can't think of right now.

Special mentions to:
  • Anita at Kiwipolitico - for pdferizing the fax for me and hosting it at her site
  • Our blog allies - No Right Turn, Kiwipolitico, Frogblog, Just Left, The Standard, Schroedinger's Tabby, Ideologically Impure, In A Strange Land, stargazer, Reading the Maps, Too Hip To Be Nats - for their promotional support (apologies if I've missed your blog off this list, let me know and you shall appear!)
  • My co-bloggers here at The Hand Mirror - for their enthusiasm and for letting me do mad sht with our blog
  • N* at the EPMU, G* at Trade Unions Waikato, and S* at TEU for sending making sure the message got out to their members (and big ups to TEU National Secretary Sharn Riggs for supporting the faxathon publicly!). And to anyone else who did so that I just don't know about.
  • T* and her fantastic friends for setting up a Facebook event for the Faxathon off their own bat (just thinking about it still makes me smile!)
  • Adders for sending me his pay inequity cartoon for publishing here (and putting up with my slight paranoia) with the main post about it all yesterday
Finally, and a little oddly I guess, thank you to the Ministerial staffers who had to put up with all the messages. Thanks for passing them on to your Ministers, it really is appreciated.

Something needs to happen next. I'm not sure what that could be. Clearly though there is an appetite out there to do something on this issue and to keep it on the agenda. At the very least we can start building a coalition of interested people, and I will keep the Pay Equity Hub going.

Further ideas in comments please!

More on pay equity stuff here - Because we're worth it: Pay Equity Hub

* I'm not sure if anyone wants me to use their actual names, so I'm just using an initial at this stage - email me if you want named props! :-)


Anonymous said...

Well done, you did more that day than you did for the entire time Labour was in Government. Don't you think for one moment that this is sad? Or are Labour immune to this sort of action?

Tui said...

Anon, if you spent more than 30 seconds around here you would know that a lot of the women blogging at THM are decidedly further left than Labour and have no reason to be particularly kind to them, so I have no doubt that Labour will earn their ire in the future - perhaps that this is THM's largest event so far merely has to do with its youth as a blog! Also, of course, it was born during an election year when a hell of a lot of other stuff was taking up people's political energy and activism.

However, Anon, perhaps you should also accept the rather inconvenient truth that *Labour has a better record on women's issues than National does.* Labour's record is far from perfect but it is significantly better than National's. There's no double standard - National just sucks more!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the Faxathon. Thanks for all your hard work Julie!

Anon - This isn't about National Vs Labour. Try and look at the bigger picture and stop being so precious.

Anna said...

Tui - well said. I'm certainly critical of both parties (although I try to give credit when I think it's due as well). I'm also of the opinion that Labour sucks less than National.

Anon, have a look through the historical stuff - there's lots of writing which is critical of Labour, especially in the comments following posts.

Julie, my thanks to, both for your activism and tireless commitment to cupcake pron. They are both much appreciated. xo

Mary-Lou said...

"I have no doubt that Labour will earn their ire in the future"..

Give me a break Tui! The future?? What about the last 9 years? Thats just plain smokescreen. I'm not taking away from the good hard work THM have done, BUT, where was all this energy when Labour was sitting on its hands for all those years?

Labour has a better record than National? Hmmn. National was quicker to give NZ it's first women PM amongst other things. National, unlike Labour, treats all women the same and Labour openly sneered at "wealthy" females.

So none of this "oh we'll get Labour when they're back in power" stupidity. Where were the faxes and outrage when all Labour did was a review? Labour are traitors to women and this smacks of favourtism.

Tui said...

Um, no party gets to pick the PM - all they do is pick their leader and then voters pick the PM. Or, in Shipley's case, they don't, they pick another PM and then she organises a coup while that party is still in government - so, whatever, great vision there. Helen Clark was leading her party as of 1993, years before Shipley.

That's frankly irrelevant though, because what matters isn't how many women a party has in its upper echelons (although neither Labour or National approach 50-50 representation across their list, I believe the Greens so better and of course the Greens' and Maori party's schtick of having two co-leaders, a woman and a man, guarantees a woman in a leadership position at all times - a step neither labour nor National have taken (although at least Labour's current Deputy is a woman.) What matters, though, is what a party does. I do not disagree with you that Labour did not do enough. However, you are DELUSIONAL if you somehow think that National treats every woman the same - National hates poor people, and poor women most of all, you know, women on the DPB, that most slagged-off segment of society... National doesn't hate rich women, because National likes rich people - they vote for them and give them lots of money. However, if I have to pick between a party that gives unequal support for women more to poor women, and a party that gives their unequal support for women more to rich women - well, frankly, I'm going to go for the one that supports the poor women, not the poor little rich girls.

I'm actually really incensed at you daring to complain that Labour hated rich women. In fact, I'd really like to see some EVIDENCE that Labour treated wealthy women unfairly instead of a baseless accusation.

Tui said...

OH ALSO. EVEN IF National treated women equally, right now they're treating them EQUALLY FUCKING BADLY. And you call the Labour party traitors.

Anonymous said...

WOW. I never, ever, ever thought I'd see the day when someone would argue that National treats women well or an argument where someone used the line: "National, unlike Labour, treats all women the same".

I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. It's like meeting someone who still thinks the war in Iraq is a "good idea to get dem terrorisers! YeHaw!".

Mary-Lou said...

I see you feel the urge to put everything into CAPITALS for us which only makes you look like a "ranter". Show me evidence that National hates poor people and I will show you a fish that plays the piano.
Interestingly, you talk about Labour being so women friendly and yet in 9 years they only set up a "discussion" about pay equity.

So here we go again running round in circles.... are you angry because I called it as it is? 9 years and nothing to show for it.

Lucy said...

Show me evidence that National hates poor people and I will show you a fish that plays the piano.

Tax cut structure. State housing cuts. Ninety-day bill. Static minimum wage for 9 years. I think the fish in this case is in a barrel.

Julie said...

Mary Lou, you seem to have quite a selective reading habit. In terms of what Labour did maybe you could read Anjum's post on the issue?

As for the use of capitals, I suspect they may reflect Tui's frustration with the Sky is Green nature of your argument!

From my point of view, as someone who has never been a member of the Labour party but generally supports a Labour-led Government over most other alternatives, Labour could have been more woman-friendly, more worker-friendly, done more to alleviate poverty etc. However, they are still preferable, on these grounds, to a National-led government. Lucy gives some great reasons why.

stargazer said...

ok mary lou, here's some of what labour did for women:

- paid parental leave (first 12 weeks, then extended to 14 weeks; first for women in paid employment, then extended to self-employed women)
- compulsory breastfeeding breaks at work
- interest-free student loans (women were unfairly impacted by mounting interest when they took time out of the workforce to have kids)
- 20 hours free early childhood education
- funding research into sexual violenc3
- increase to 42% the number of women on boards of public sector organisations (compare this to 8.
6% women on the boards of our top private sector companies)
- funded & implemented the "it's not ok" campaign against domestic violence
- introduced working for families, which finally gave women the choice to stay at home with their kids, by ensuring they could afford it.
- increasing OSCAR funding for out-of-school care
- the property relationships act which ensured a fairer division of property

that's just off the top of my head. if i did a little research, i could come up with a whole lot more. when you keep peddling the line that labour did nothing, you only show up your own ignorance.

Mary-Lou said...

And yet they didn't give you pay equality and that is what I am trying to get to you understand.

stargazer said...

darling, read the post i've written on pay equity (not equality, that's a whole different thing - you really need to do some reading about this). they were busy working on it & were making progress. it's not an issue that's going to be solved overnight & a lot of those policies on childcare & paid parental leave were about breaking the barriers that were keeping women's pay lower.

this new government has stopped any work on it because they don't think it's worthwhile reducing inequality while we're in a recession. justice is apparently only for the good times, in all other times they are happy for injustice to continue without doing anything about it.

Lucy said...

They didn't give us a pony, either. I guess their magic wand got broken at some point.

More seriously: no-one is demanding National gift us pay equality on a platter. That's a ridiculous thing to expect of a government. We're asking that they be supportive of it and not cancel moves towards it that Labour had put in place. No, Labour didn't create Utopia during their time in government; that doesn't make all of National's moves unquestionable, nor mean Labour accomplished nothing. It's not a freaking zero-sum game.