Pay equity benefits everyone – even vice chancellors.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 27, No 5

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union’s pay equity campaign is set to give employers a taste of working with us to secure better funding from the government.

In conjunction with other unions, TEU has raised two separate multi-employer and multi-union claims under the Equal Pay Act 1972 for low paid library, clerical, and administration workers in the university sector.

Te Pou Whirinaki | National Women’s Officer Sarah Proctor-Thomson says pay equity legislation is a tool we can use to lift pay. “We are really looking forward to sitting down with all eight vice chancellors and the government to work together on this.”

“The pay equity process in the state sector necessitates a tripartite conversation between government, unions, and the employers to assess, settle, fund, and implement claims. We hope following this process will show vice chancellors that it benefits everyone for them to work with us when our interests are aligned, and that it will set a good precedent for other mahi over the coming years.”

“Pay equity claims have a real chance to make a difference for a large group of university staff. Anyone working in the female-dominated areas covered by the claims (men, women, gender diverse) will benefit from a pay equity settlement.”

Historically, all workers in female-dominated occupations have experienced undervaluation of their skills, experience, and contributions based on gender. Campaigning for Gender Pay Equity is about correcting undervaluation of female-dominated workforces.

In 2022, the gender pay gap was around 9% when women's median hourly pay is compared with the median pay for men. But, when the median hourly wages for European men are compared with women of different ethnic groups, the gender pay gaps are much larger – 10.2% for European women; 14.8% for Asian women; and 19.2% for wāhine Māori and wāhine Pasifika.

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