Wednesday, 13 May 2009

kiss pay equity goodbye...

in breaking news, the minister of labour kate wilkinson has announced that the department will be disbanding the pay and equity employment unit. this means a loss of 7 jobs, but it means so much more. i've already written about the work of this unit and what it has contributed.

the minister acknowledges the value of the unit:

The unit has worked hard researching the causes behind New Zealand's gender pay gap and that work remains to be a valuable source of information

but believes that there is no point in focusing on the state sector. instead, she believes:

This issue is the responsibility of all employers and good employers will work to tackle it.

of course, because leaving it to employers has worked so spectacularly in the past. and what about bad employers? basically she's happy to leave them to behave badly.

there are a few other points to note. one is that this cut has occurred without any consultation at all. nobody has had an opportunity to lobby or put their views forward - no women's groups, no individual members of the public.

second, i wonder if the hon ms wilkinson consulted with the minister of women's affairs, and if she did, how much of a fight did the hon pansy wong put up (if any). if the minister of women's affairs is supposed to be an advocate for nz women, it seem she either does not have the will or the power to stand up for issues of importance to women. in which case, why is she there?

third, the cut has been announced while the nation has it's attention elsewhere, with events in napier, with the announcement on the waterview tunnel, with the passing through urgency of legislation disestablishing all the auckland city councils to be replaced by a transitional council of persons appointed by rodney hide, with the announcement of audit by nz on air of the company owned by the national party candidate for mt albert melissa lee to investigate possible misuse of taxpayer funds.

in other words, this release has been deliberately timed to pass under the radar with as little comment as possible. and no doubt it will get very little comment from mainstream media.

i can't even begin to say how awful i'm feeling about this - about what has been done and the way it has been done.

46 comments:

Tui said...

I'm absolutely spitting about this. We're so assbackwards right now that we're giving up on pay equity? Argh, I just have no words for this outrageous decision.

Julie said...

This sucks. Totally. Not happy.

How on earth can we progress pay equity unless we have research that informs the decision-making about how to do it?

A Nonny Moose said...

Christine Rankin and now this? There's a lot of passive aggressive BS being smacked down on women by this government.

Damn you swing voters, for thinking it best that we needed a change in government. Enjoy your freakin' government.

Arrrrrrrgh! *headesk*

SMSD said...

so "good employers" will work to tackle it eh? by disbanding the unit i guess Wilkinson is making it pretty clear the state has no intention of being a good employer.

miss abc said...

This government is driving me nuts...and 12 per cent is a HUGE pay gap. Well NZ voted for change...I wonder if this is what they were expecting.
I must admit to feeling very angry about this. Someone should ring Key's Mum and ask how does it feel to know your son thinks your worth less because of your sex.
MENTAL

Julie said...

Here's Sue Moroney's post about this at Red Alert.

Alison said...

7 jobs saved at a generous average of $40000 each. I guess we know exactly how much pay equity is worth to these cockroaches!

stargazer said...

CTU president helen kelly gave an excellent interview on this for the tv7 news at 8 programme. don't know if it's available online.

Anony Mona said...

Pay equity? Why are you spitting about it now? Under Labour I pushed and screamed for them to legislate it and they ignored me.

As left wingers we should be disgusted at this BUT we should also be equally angry about why this was not properly addressed by our so called comrades on the left.

stargazer said...

yawn. pretty sad attempt at trolling. not surprising that you've been ignored. try reading the links to the post, and you'll see that labour had been actively working on the issue.

Anony Mona said...

Stargazer excuse me, I think you are aware of the fighting from the Green, Alliance and Workers Parties over the past decade to push for these rights. I worked alongside the workers party in Wellington to lobby Labour and it was for nothing. Why whinge about National when our so called friends failed despite having Helen in charge.

What a sell out Stargazer. Call yourself a feminist, you're just an apologist for Labour. They never helped us at all.

Psycho Milt said...

The devil's advocate turns up a couple of days late...

Certainly Wilkinson's blather about relying on private sector employers to sort it out is a laughable load of old cobblers, but on the other hand it's entirely fair for taxpayers to ask exactly what they were getting in return for these salaries. From looking through the taskforce report, they've reached some obvious conclusions about pay equity that bloggers don't seem to have had much trouble figuring out for themselves without working on it full time, and they've proposed the kind of "develop policies," "implement response plans" etc blather that such groups always come up with. I don't see that we've had value for money from this group.

Most annoying of all: despite having worked on this full time for years, they're still talking about "equal pay for work of equal value" in their report, seemingly without having come up with a convincing explanation of what it is or how it could be achieved.

stargazer said...

mona, it seems to be a little common here lately to dismiss all work that doesn't fit the story you want to tell. yes, more could have been done, but the use of "nothing" is rather contrary to the facts and shows that you want to be wilfully blind.

psycho, don't have time to look it up, but i understand that the unit had developed instruments to measure pay gaps, and had done case studies to show how these could be implemented. i'm pretty sure i linked to these in an earlier post.

Mareika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mareika said...

Pay equality exists in New Zealand. It is against the law in NZ to pay different wages because of gender. This was sorted out in the 70's.

The problem with the Department of Labour's Pay and Employment Equity Unit is the attitude of the leaders.

I interviewed Dr. Mc Gregor last year and her exact words were, "Men have ruled for 1000's of years and it is women's turn". You can't have feminists like this running the department of labour and she really shouldn't be on the Human's Rights Commission with this attitude either. She is hateful to men. And that is discrimination itself.

The other thing is that it is mothers who are making the equity unbalanced. Single women are earning more than men on the whole.

National MP Paula Bennett is a single mother. I am a single mother. We both value our time with our children and do not believe forcing all single mothers to work is the right thing to do. We believe mothers should still have a choice. We both know how hard it is to raise children and be full time workers.

The NZ unions also believes single mothers should have a choice.

But the Labour government has moved heavily into childcare where mothers are to hand their children over to the state who believes Psychologists on boards (not in the childcare facilities) can better raise our children.

I don't see why women have to follow feminism ideology if they don't want to.

stargazer said...

sorry mareika, but it was john key who used the words "breeding as a business" about DPB mums. it was national party policy in the previous campaign to force women who have children at school into 15 hours per week at work. paula bennet was the one pushing this policy. did you contact her at the time to tell her how bad you think it is (as would seem the case from your comments)?

labour provided for 20 hours free early childhood education for 3 & 4 year olds - education, because research shows the benefits of preschool education being quite clear once children are at school.

i don't even know what you're talking about re "psychologists board", it doesn't make sense.

pay equality is quite different to pay equity. please go and educate yourself about what pay equity means before making such ignorant comments.

and please provide research based evidence from a reputable source to prove that single mothers earn more than men.

finally, nobody here has asked you to follow feminism. i would ask you to educate yourself with some basic knowledge before leaving such ignorant comments on this blog.

Psycho Milt said...

"...i understand that the unit had developed instruments to measure pay gaps, and had done case studies to show how these could be implemented."

And I'm wondering, how much have we shelled out for that? I have some sympathy for the Nats over this one, because we've employed a bunch of people full time for years to work on this issue, and they don't appear to have developed either a convincing definition of exactly what the problem is or any concrete proposals for how to tackle it. Continuing to fund their talking shop would amount to throwing good money after bad. My only beef with Wilkinson is that she's decided to simply pocket the money instead of looking for more useful people to set to work on the issue.

stargazer said...

well, psycho, i'd say the gisborne district council, the state services commission, and tha parliamentary service seemed to find the process useful. just because you aren't convinced doesn't mean that no-one is.

Mareika said...

stargazer said...

sorry mareika, but it was john key who used the words "breeding as a business" about DPB mums.John Keys is a Godsend to feminism. He was raised by a single mother living in a housing corp home.

He was just following what Labour had planned.

He is just a baby in ideology of politics. But he received many words from the mainstream groups to not follow through on this.

paula bennet was the one pushing this policy. did you contact her at the time to tell her how bad you think it is (as would seem the case from your comments)?Paula is my MP. She has already questioned, "When did we decide women have to work? She is not my enemy.

labour provided for 20 hours free early childhood education for 3 & 4 year olds - education, because research shows the benefits of preschool education being quite clear once children are at school.They sure did and if you follow the labour feminist movement globally you will see that they planned this to get mothers in work. I find the UK sites in University the best to follow for future plans. This was planned years ago. And it seems Labour wanted National to get the blame for it. How sad things have backfired.

Also, funny how Helen Clarke shut down the unions down while in power.

i don't even know what you're talking about re "psychologists board", it doesn't make sense.Gosh, that was one of the itemised goals for femisints from the 70's.

pay equality is quite different to pay equity. please go and educate yourself about what pay equity means before making such ignorant comments.I think Dr Mc Gregor knows a bit more than you. She explained the whole thing to me. And all the proposed moves.

and please provide research based evidence from a reputable source to prove that single mothers earn more than men.Gosh, are you not aware of that yet.

finally, nobody here has asked you to follow feminism. i would ask you to educate yourself with some basic knowledge before leaving such ignorant comments on this blog.Let's take this to one site. I started on feministing.com

Let's have it out over there shall we. It is too hard to keep up with individual sites.

Tui said...

I hate to state the obvious, but it's your own problem if you've commented at too many sites to keep track of.

When Paula Bennett said "who said mums had to work" she left out a few words, like "rich". What she really meant is "who said rich mums should work." Single mothers, who can ONLY work if they are provided with low-cost childcare, are SOL under National: National doesn't want to provide them with childcare so they can work if they want to, but it also doesn't want to provide them with money so they can stay home with their children. Can you give an example of a *policy* - as opposed to rhetoric - National has implemented that targets helping single and/or low-income parents?

Additionally: if you and Paula Bennett are both single mothers who know what it is like to work full-time while being a single parent, you have both obviously put your children into childcare at some point. How can you possibly justify this, considering how dangerous you feel early childhood education is?

stargazer said...

mareika, why did john key show disrespect to single mothers and his own mother by saying women on a benefit were "breeding for a business"? why has he allowed the pay equity investigations to be stopped and the unit to be disbanded?

She has already questioned, "When did we decide women have to work?then why does she want to force single mums to work? it's pretty hypocritical for her to ask the question you're quoting, then force women to work for 15 hours a week.

can't follow your nonsense about what national has been blamed for. but the 20 hours free ECE was based on research and pushed by our free kindergartens. again, please educate yourself in this area. providing free education doesn't force women in to work. they can stay at home while their kids are at kindy if they want to and can afford to do so. here's a hint: just because you keep saying a thing doesn't make it true.

Also, funny how Helen Clarke shut down the unions down while in power.please provide the name of a single union that ceased to exist, because of miss clark. the unions were fully functioning and extremely active over the last decade. see comments here for just some examples of union activity.

Gosh, that was one of the itemised goals for femisints from the 70's.you just made that up.

I think Dr Mc Gregor knows a bit more than you. She explained the whole thing to me.well you'd better ask her to explain it again, because you still don't understand it. if you did, you wouldn't have referred to the 70s, you would have referred to the repealed pay and employement equity act of 1990. and you would have realised that there is still a lot of work to be done on pay equity.

Gosh, are you not aware of that yet.which means you don't have any proof, otherwise you'd have been able to provide it. again, you're making stuff up, and it's pretty weak at that.

Tui said...

anjum, you rock. Thanks for fighting the good fight - just reading & making sense of Mareika's posts is a confusing and exhausting experience for me! Your coherent responses awe me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deborah said...

I removed the last comment, an anonymous one directed at one of THM's bloggers.

Abuse of any kind is unacceptable, but there's something peculiarly cowardly about anonymous abuse.

For the record, and for moderation purposes, I do not consider consistent and known handles to be anonymous. This is not a THM policy, just my own, so I've got no concerns whatsoever if anyone else in THM's team has a different view.

Sigh... why the big onset of trolls of late?

Psycho Milt said...

"...the gisborne district council, the state services commission, and tha parliamentary service seemed to find the process useful."

In what way? Was pay inequity significantly reduced in those organisations thanks to the Unit's work? And if so, was that reduction due to anything other than offering "remedial pay settlements," ie simply giving people money to cover the gap?

"just because you aren't convinced doesn't mean that no-one is."

Obviously, otherwise we wouldn't be debating this. But their boss doesn't appear to be convinced either, and I'm saying that under the circumstances, that's not surprising - in its years of existence the unit has come up with a job evaluation scheme (and in my experience different schemes merely introduce a different set of flaws into the process) and the idea of "remedial pay settlements," ie covering the gap by handing out money. All I'm saying is that I'd sack 'em too.

Cougar Grrl said...

I think you'll find Deborah, the Anon comment you deleted told Stargazer off for harrassing the very fair comments made by Mareika with some lame answers, bordering on abuse.

Stargazer simply didn't answer her and looked rather silly by continuing to take the piss.

There are more "trolls" here because some of the stuff coming out of the mouths of the authors is getting more bizarre every day :)

Tui said...

@cougar, the most harassing thing stargazer can be said to have said is refer to some of Mareika's comments - not even all of it - as "nonsense." IMO this constitutes an accurate assessment of the contents of her comments, especially as in half of them she essentially makes things up. I would also use words like incoherent.

I also don't agree with the deletion of the anonymous comments because I think they were pretty lame and not especially threatening. But their blog, their rules, and they aren't implementing an arbitrary standard here - it's consistent with comment policy throughout the blog. If anon has a problem anon can rephrase their comments to fit local standards...

Anna said...

Bizarre is in the eye of the beholder, Cougar - I find it pretty strange when people make comments full of contradictions and with no knowledge of the topic they're talking about. And those who don't like reading THM have a whole world of other blogs to choose from...

Anna said...

Tui - didn't actually see the deleted comment, but it's important to me that THM be not just a safe space, but a place where people can have informed conversations about stuff of interest to feminists. Places like that are few and far between!

Mareika said...

stargazer, I appreciate your comments to me. (even though you don't know what I am talking about)

I want to spend some time showing you and will.

I am not a National supporter any more than I am a Labour supporter. I don't consider feminism owned alone by either one. Feminism is both, as far as I am concerned. Each party has it's own way of bringing goals that are decades old (1990's laws are important, yes!, but so too is the history of decades beforehand).

And then the International movement (Sweden, Cananda plus, plus)

Our human rights commissioners do not work for NZ but travel to Canada (world leader in feminism) to find out what to do. So do our women refuge leaders.

We NEED to allow women to make decisions for their own well-being and that of their children. We are doing things that have failed miserably in Russia previously so we have no real way of knowing how possible things are going to work with our social theories. And we don't really show the costs when we promote the moves forward.

I am for freedom of women, not for chains within a system.

But enough of my rhetoric (ha, ha). I will come back with a way to have some decent discussion and with sites for reference since you are being good enough to allow my views on this site.

stargazer said...

marieka, our commissioners, MPs, city councillors, mayors and public servants all travel to countries overseas all through the year. they visit countries all over the world to see what is happening there, and we have plenty of visits to our country from similar people in other countries. this is because there is no point in reinventing the wheel, and if someone is doing something successful, then we should investigate and see if it will work in another country. i can't see why you have a problem with that.

but if you have problems with the commissioners, i direct you to their website www.hrc.co.nz, where you can take the matter up with them.

Anita said...

Mareika,

Up thread you said:

Single women are earning more than men on the whole.Stargazer asked for any evidence of this, I can't find an answer. Can you please provide some evidence to back up this assertion?

Mareika said...

Anita said...

Up thread you said:

Single women are earning more than men on the whole.Stargazer asked for any evidence of this, I can't find an answer. Can you please provide some evidence to back up this assertion?
What I meant to say (if I wasn't clear) is that single women are earning more than single men.

Women are outdoing men in high education now which is providing better paid jobs to women.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/540737

Women also get free training on the DPB to further their education and provide better pay in jobs. Men on benefits do not receive this so their jobs are paid less.

Immigrant women are the same. They too have the benefits to find jobs in leadership that pays better than the men working at the 'glass bottom'.

Oh, I wanted to share a piece with you of one feminist commissioner at NOW who was sacked for saying single women earn more than single men on a TV program. I am having difficulty finding it but will keep looking.

I will also ask for the statistics in NZ to show you.

Here is the NZ commission report if you are interested.

http://www.neon.org.nz/documents/HR%20Women_screen.pdf

Here is an article in the UK that will describe the push for children in childcare.

http://singleparents.org.nz/?s=wage+gap

stargazer said...

actually mareika, women are not "outdoing" men in all areas of higher education. in an earlier post, i wrote about my discussion with the a staff member at the dept of engineering, university of auckland. there are definitely fewer numbers of women than men in this field, and i suspect you'd find the same in others. for example, the modern apprenticeship programme has a very low intake of women.

secondly, just because they're getting a higher education doesn't mean it translates into higher paid jobs. i've seen research showing that female law graduates earn, on average, $5,000 less than their male counterparts at the time they get their first job. the stuff article you link to talks only about higher education rates, it makes no mention of salaries.

please provide evidence that men on the DPB do not get the same opportunities as women for training. this statement is clearly untrue. also, please provide evidence of your claims about immigrant women. the evidence i've seen is that these women are doing the lowest paid jobs, such as being cleaners and working in the elder care sector.

also, in the women's participation report you've linked, please provide me with the page number where it says that single women earn more than men. page 7 of the report shows the global gender gap in nz still being 0.764. also see table 16, pag 47 which has more information on the pay gap.

Mareika said...

stargazer said...

actually mareika, women are not "outdoing" men in all areas of higher education. in an earlier post, i wrote about my discussion with the a staff member at the dept of engineering, university of auckland. there are definitely fewer numbers of women than men in this field, and i suspect you'd find the same in others. for example, the modern apprenticeship programme has a very low intake of women.
Your getting silly now. Next you'll be saying we have to decide everyone's job from birth so we have exact equity always.

(I am reminded of a past failed attempt in history)

No! Let women have freedom from the state as you have given them freedom from the kitchen. Let them be adults!

........

I have better things to do than argue over something that you don't have.

You'll get another chance no doubt but hopefully people will have woken up by then. And hopefully you will have also.

A Nonny Moose said...

"We are doing things that have failed miserably in Russia previously so we have no real way of knowing how possible things are going to work with our social theories."

This struck me. Maerika, are you accusing New Zealand of being at worst communist, at best socialist?

Mareika said...

A Nonny Moose said...

"We are doing things that have failed miserably in Russia previously so we have no real way of knowing how possible things are going to work with our social theories." This struck me. Maerika, are you accusing New Zealand of being at worst communist, at best socialist?I don't believe all NZ people are communists.

I believe feminism is opting for 2 possibilities.

1. Women take over and swap the gender roles around to pay back men for something they think past generations of men have done to past generations of women and if they can't get that2. They will settle for communism.

They are not working towards equality. Women's rights are preferences, men's rights are to take responsibility.

I have already spoken with Roslyn Noonan and gave a list of things needed for men. She said the International movement of human rights held meetings in Canada (feminists) and were looking at men's rights.

We finally have men's rights in NZ but they are all for men to take responsibility. They are all for prevention. All to serve women.

Men's groups can't get funding to do what they want with boys, male youth or men. It is all under feminist control.

.......

They are not working towards equity. If they were they would consider the 6% of men in teaching and other areas where the equity is favouring women. They don't even cap anything. They start with the goal of 50% and then go over with their women's support groups and tax funded lobby groups.

.........

They are playing it safe both ways in case society wake ups. They have paralysed everyone who is not under their control.

And yet, they don't realise the price to pay for generations to follow. And some small piece of me is dying inside thinking they don't even care.

.......

The sad part is that every power becomes corrupted. Women are no different to men in that respect.

Is feminism corrupted? What happened to it?

Tui said...

Men's groups can't get funding to do what they want with boys, male youth or men.Am I the only person who went to the NAMBLA place? Thanks for the laugh, Mareika!

stargazer said...

no tui, my thinking went in that direction as well. good for a laugh is about it!

i think marieka that you are now trolling. you've failed to provide evidence, you're making some pretty silly assertions, and half of your comments aren't even coherent.

at this stage i'm going to ask you to desist from further comment here. if you have any further points you'd like to make, feel free to start your own blog (or go back to it, if you already have one) and say what you want there.

Anita said...

Mareika,

I've checked all the links you provided and none say that single women are earning more than single men, let alone prvide any supporting data.

Do you have any evidence to back up your assertion?

Anita said...

Oops, stargazer feel free to remove my last comment. I was reading from the top of the thread down.

stargazer said...

no worries anita. i already asked that exact same question (in a much more long-winded way!), and the response was what led me to the conclusion that there's no helpful insight to be gained here!

Tui said...

Wow, mareika, you're right, I've just realised that not everyone wants feminism - hateful homophobes don't want feminism! Luckily, I don't give a flying crap what hateful homophobes want. Now that's a comment that deserves to be deleted.

stargazer said...

sory tui, just getting rid of the trolls. this one's not worth responding to.

Anonymous said...

So in short, if Labour win again we will get the pay parity we have waited so long for?

Hold on....

stargazer said...

at least we'll have people working on the problem, rather than it being completely ignored. this a problem that the market isn't going to solve. neither is there a short-term fix.

but pretending it's not even a problem? total fail.