Pay Equity campaign heating up.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 26, No 15

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union will write to six out of the eight university employers this week to advise them of two separate multi-employer and multi-union claims under the Equal Pay Act 1972 for low paid library, clerical and administration workers.

Similar letters will be sent to the other two universities (the University of Canterbury and Auckland University of Technology) in the coming weeks.

Te Pou Whirinaki | National Women’s Officer, Dr Sarah Proctor-Thomson says TEU is looking forward to working with university employers to redress the gender pay inequities experienced by workers in low paid female-dominated areas of work in the sector.

“Recent figures show the gender pay gap at around 10% when pay for all working women in Aotearoa is compared with pay for all working men. Women make up 56% of TEU members and while we’ve learnt from other unions that pay equity mahi takes time and lots of collective effort, it is possible to tangibly make a difference in women’s lives through gender pay equity claims.”

Aimee Lowe, a TEU member and Library Assistant at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University says “with pay hovering around the living wage and yearly increases that don’t keep up with rising cost of living, many new library assistants move on quickly because we can get paid more fairly in similar roles that are not female dominated, such as IT. Even if a library assistant moves into a librarian role, they would be better off in an entry level role in a different sector.”

“Library assistants, along with clerical and administration workers, deserve to be recognised as skilled professionals and have our mahi be a financially viable career choice. We stay in our jobs because we love what we do, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for the tertiary sector to ignore the clear discrepancy in our pay when compared to similar roles traditionally dominated by men.”

Once the claims are raised, university employers will need to work together with unions to consider and evaluate them.

On the 28th of July TEU launched its pay equity campaign as members celebrated General/Allied Staff Day with a quiz at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University in Wellington.

Also in this update:

Other Stories:

Staff in job limbo 'deflated' over mega polytech's unknown future – Stuff

Massey University proposal to cut jobs a 'slap in the face' – Stuff

Valid reasons why students exit courses, says Witt head – Stuff

AUT Pay Gaps Report released – AUT