Thursday, 5 March 2009

progressing pay equity

one more day before our pay equity faxathon. it's wonderful that so many people are getting involved in this positive action to overturn hon tony ryall's decision canning research into pay equity.

one of the themes that seems to be coming through in comments here and on other blogs is the totally incorrect notion that the fifth labour government did nothing about pay equity in it's 9 years term. which of course is bollocks. a quick search on google will bring you here, where you can get to a history of pay and employment equity here.

the history shows the work of the fourth labour government which brought in the employment equity act in 1990, pursuant to which "Ten pay equity claims were lodged with the Employment Equity Commission by unions representing large numbers of women members, prior to the repeal of the Act six months after it was introduced." being politically neutral, what the website fails to mention is that the repeal was the first bit of legislation put through by rt hon jim bolger's new government in 1990.

the fifth labour government created the post of equal employment opportunities commissioner, of which we have an excellent one in dr judy mcgregor. one of the pieces of work she has put out recently is the 2008 census of women's participation.

back to government departments, the ministry of women's affairs has been active on pay equity (as well as increasing women's participation in public sector governance, through it's nominations service), which lead to the establishment of the pay & employment equity unit in the department of labour (my first link above). the unit has been doing the work to establish evaluation tools for pay equity, and helping the public sector review equity issues.

on top of all of that work which has been going on quietly, the fifth labour government also reached major settlements with nurses and teachers. pay for nurses would have been significantly raised as a result of the 1990 act, but because of the repeal 6 months later, they had to wait 15 years.

so for anyone to say that the fifth labour government did nothing is either dishonest or just plain lazy. the information is, after all, readily available.

10 comments:

Julie said...

Don't you find it absolutely fascinating that this post got no comments (until this one)? With all those people out there in Blogland saying Labour did nothing you'd think some of them might have had something to say here?

stargazer said...

yes, funny that!

Dave said...

Ive just found this page and realised what Labour actually did. They arranged lots of meetings, with a few committees and wrote lots of reports about its units, tools and reviews, The nurses and teachers settlements were not done as part of the pay equity, they were occupation based.

So thanks for telling us that.

Julie said...

So Dave, how would you progress pay equity?

Personally I would start with some pretty rigorous research into the problem, identifying the size and scope of it, how it plays out in different occupation groups, coming up with tools to measure it (and whether any action taking was having an effect on the pay gap, and why), etc.

Which is what this unit was doing... (See Anjum's post this morning on the disbanding of the pay equity unit)

StephenR said...

on top of all of that work which has been going on quietly, the fifth labour government also reached major settlements with nurses and teachers. pay for nurses would have been significantly raised as a result of the 1990 act, but because of the repeal 6 months later, they had to wait 15 years.Is that an equity thing or just a 'more pay' thing?

Julie said...

Can you explain a bit more what you see as the difference StephenR? Sorry, I'm not quite sure what you mean.

stargazer said...

stephen, the nurses settlement was definitely a pay equity issue. once the pay equity act 1989 had passed, the nurses were to be the first group to be have their claim dealt with. alot of the work had been done on that claim. unfortunately the new national government nixed all of that - it was the first thing they did. once labour was back in, they went back to that earlier work to settle the nurses claim. it was definitely based on the pay equity work done by the fourth labour government.

my understanding is the teachers settlement also had a similar element.

Anonymous said...

Stargazer, do you really think the Fourth Labour Government did so much for pay equity? Remember, this was the government where Roger Douglas was Finance Minister and Richard Prebble Associate Finance.

StephenR said...

Thanks stargazer.

Yeah sorry Julie, I meant was it a sex equality issue or a 'more pay for all' issue.

stargazer said...

anon, please go and read your history. the bill was passed and then repealed straight after the election. the fourth labour government didn't get the chance to progress it.