The Ministry of Education has agreed to progress a pay equity claim for education support workers, following mediation talks on Monday.
The talks are the latest stage in a long running campaign for education support workers to be paid the same as their male counterparts.
Education support workers earn $16-19 an hour for their work with vulnerable children – around $6 an hour less than men in similar jobs.
Monday’s talks were first to make use of new principles for equal pay agreed last year between unions, business and government.
Based on these principles, the Ministry of Education agreed there is a sufficient need to advance the pay equity claim.
This means that over the next 15 weeks, the Ministry and representatives of the three women who first made the claim for pay equity ten years ago will work jointly to reach a settlement.
Suzanne McNabb, TEU’s national women’s officer, said
“the government’s commitment to address this pay equity case is very positive step towards addressing the pay imbalance that forces some women into a lifetime of inequality.”