The latest quarterly employment data from Statistics New Zealand shows that the government’s efforts to suppress public sector pay are leading to a growing gender pay gap.
The gap between what men and women earn grew in the last three months by 36 cents an hour or, for someone working full time, over $600 a year. The gap is now $4.14 an hour.
The gap between what men and women earn has grown every quarter for the last two years but this last quarter was the biggest increase in the pay gap during that period.
The Labour Cost Index statistics, also released this week, show that the government’s moves to prevent pay rises in the public sector are succeeding, with public sector pay rising by 1.4 percent over the previous year, compared to private sector pay rising by 2.1 percent.
The majority of employees in the wider public sector, including health and education, are women, meaning that when the government, through the State Service Commission’s bargaining parameters, pushes down pay in the public sector it directly contributes to the growing gender pay gap.
TEU’s national president Sandra Grey said the State Services Commission and the acting Minister of Labour Chris Finlayson needed to consider the inequitable impact their policies are having on women.