I’m pleased to let you know that we are formally raising a pay equity claim for librarians and those doing the same or similar work who are covered by the Support Staff in Schools Collective Agreement.
The Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 comes into force at midnight tonight. Because the education sector is 85% female, this opens up major opportunities for all NZEI Te Riu Roa members. It creates a clearer path to pay equity for the many female-dominated roles in education that have historically been undervalued because they involve “women’s work” and the care and education of children. We are making a number of claims across the education sector, which will also cover the men who work in these roles.
We now have to build a case to establish that there may be gender undervaluation in these roles. It can be a lengthy process to uncover the full extent of the undervaluing of women across education, but it’s essential that NZEI Te Riu Roa begins this work.
The process under the Act is new and we will be setting precedents. We’ll keep you up to date with how things are tracking.
The campaign to keep libraries in schools -- which also focuses on the value of our contribution to education -- will be an important part of this work. You can find out more about this here.
See our website for more information about the new Act, steps to pay equity and the other claims we are raising for membersAt 10.30am on Saturday, NZEI Te Riu Roa will be part of a media launch with the Council of Trade Unions, to mark the new Act coming into force. You can watch the Facebook livestream on our page.
Following the announcement, we will be holding a livestream for NZEI Te Riu Roa members at 1pm to explain the pay equity process and answer as many of your questions as possible. You can send your questions to us before the livestream and view the Livestream on our Facebook page at 1pm Saturday.
Based on successful claims we’ve already raised in the education sector, we know that the undervaluing of women’s work is significant and widespread. These claims are about fully exploring the extent of the issue. As we saw with the teacher aide settlement, an important aspect is investigating systemic factors that undermine equity, such as funding, insecure work and other terms and conditions.
We’re taking the first step on a journey to overturn long-term and entrenched undervaluing of our work in education. The Government wants to make real progress on pay equity - particularly in education - and this new legislation helps us on the way. Let’s begin!