The Equal Pay Amendment Bill risks significantly delaying pay equity for part-time teachers, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.
“The transitional provisions of the Bill will put at risk existing pay equity cases that are currently before the Employment Relations Authority and the Courts.
“This is a departure from earlier legislation and will delay some cases considerably, including the PPTA’s pay equity claim for part-time secondary teachers.
“The PPTA has been working towards pay equity for part-time secondary teachers. Discontinuing its claim would cost years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the PPTA has indicated it will be seeking compensation from the Government if this comes to pass.
“It also appears that the Ministry of Justice’s Bill Of Rights Act analysis was based on an earlier version of the Bill that didn't include the transitional provisions, as it doesn’t mention them. This demonstrates an alarming level of incompetence from the Government.
“National is committed to achieving pay equity in New Zealand, which is why we support this Bill as a step toward closing the gender pay gap and ensuring female dominated jobs are paid fairly. However, the transitional provisions are flawed and will only serve to delay or put at risk completely existing pay equity claims.
“The Government need to show some respect for the considerable expense, resources and effort that have been put into existing pay equity cases over many years. The Bill must be rewritten to give claimants the option for current cases already in the pipeline to be considered under the current law.”