Ironically the government has appointed the person in charge of equal employment opportunities in a manner that has struck many as shoulder-tapping and political.
Government minister Judith Collins announced this week that she was appointing the current National MP Dr Jackie Blue as Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner
CTU President Helen Kelly called the decision a direct political appointment that risks undermining the integrity of this crucial national human rights role . She said .
“Human Rights Commissioner roles are positions that need to be independent from direct government policy and influence. Jackie Blue is well respected on her advocacy on some women’s issues and we recognise and respect that, but she has been a voting member of a Government that has set women’s issues back years with changes to pay equity initiatives, attacks on solo mothers, cuts to ECE services and other changes. Her direct appointment from the Parliament and lack of experience and knowledge on human rights are serious issues.”
Angela MacLeod the spokesperson for the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition however said it was pleased to hear that the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Commissioner position has been retained and congratulated Jackie Blue on her appointment.
“Women workers, especially those in female dominated workplaces, are short changed in multiple ways, the most obvious being in their pay packets.
“Our challenge to the new EEO Commissioner, is to support the women of New Zealand, call on the government to legislate for equal pay for work of equal value, support extended paid parental leave and ensure fair pay in the residential aged care