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Union gives Women’s’ Affairs Minister 90 days to ‘shape up’

The Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota has today challenged newly appointed Cabinet Minister Hekia Parata to take a lead and advance the cause of Pay Equity or stand down within her first 90 days.

National’s record on Pay Equity had been abysmal, said Barbara Wyeth, president of the SFWU, which represents over 16,000 working women.

She said Hekia Parata had 90 days to show she’s serious about advancing women’s economic and working lives.

Education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa said the Government had systematically ignored evidence of pay inequity within education and had done nothing to address the needs of low paid women workers.

A pay investigation involving around 800 Ministry of Education support workers who work with special needs children, found they were significantly underpaid when compared to male workers in other sectors with similar skills levels and responsibilities, NZEI President Frances Nelson said.

A separate report on the compulsory schooling sector found that across all occupational groups in schools, there were areas where women were not being treated fairly or were being discriminated against in terms of pay, career advancement and value of their work, she said.

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