Pay equity claims formally delivered.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members have formally delivered gender pay equity claims to university employers across Aotearoa today. The multi-union and multi-employer claims are being jointly raised by TEU, PSA and TIASA and target female-dominated and low paid university clerical administration and library work.

TEU Te Pou Whirinaki | National Women’s Officer Dr Sarah Proctor-Thomson says “this is an important milestone in a long journey. TEU members have been meeting and working on these two gender pay equity claims since February, and we are excited to be finally moving the campaign into the next phase.”

“Many library assistants and clerical administration workers in the Aotearoa university sector are paid at or little more than the Living Wage. Comparable roles that are not female dominated are paid significantly more. This must be addressed and corrected.”

As Aimee Lowe, a TEU member and Library Assistant at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University, pointed out a little over a month ago, “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.”

From here, the eight university employers are now required by law (Equal Pay Act 1972) to consider the claims together as an employer group and respond as to whether they deem the claims arguable and requiring evaluation.

Unions and the employers are then mandated to work collaboratively to gather data and evaluate the true value of the work covered by the claim and, finally, to set an equitable level of remuneration.