NZ Labour Letter September 2015
National Labour News
New Zealand Education Institute, the country's largest education worker union, announced it will sue the government on behalf of education support workers over gender discrimination. “The Government has been ignoring this human rights issue for far too long and we will now pursue our case through the courts,” said NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter. NZEI said that more than six years ago, an independent job evaluation report by the Pay Equity Commission showed that when compared with the male dominated job of corrections officer, education support workers employed by the Ministry of Education were paid as much as $8 an hour less. According to the union, the incoming government “sidelined the report,” saying the pay issue would be dealt with through bargaining rounds. “There has been no real movement, and in fact what we’re seeing across the workforce in New Zealand is growing inequity and female-dominated workforces are suffering the most,” Goulter said. The teachers’ union suit follows court action by the College of Midwives which is suing the government for paying its members less because it was a predominantly female industry.