It puzzles me that the Nats have any female supporters.
The Nats are no friends to women. During their three year term they have scrapped the Department of Labour’s Pay and Employment Equity Unit (PaEE), and killed off investigations aimed at improving the pay of women. On their watch the gender gap in pay is widening, and women are slipping back in various employment indicators.
Even their friends accuse the National Party of internal sexism. I’m sure that’s unrelated to the fact that “The gender pay gap in the prime minister’s department is nearly three times as large as the national average” (in Key’s office of 126 staff the 52% of workers who are female are paid on average 27.5% less than their male colleagues).
And now the latest chapter in this shameful book. See if you can make any sense of Key’s dithering yesterday:
Key shies from wage equity bill
The Government is firmly against pay discrimination based on gender, but has shied away from supporting a bill aimed at eliminating any pay gap between men and women who are doing the same job. …
The Human Rights Commission has released the Pay Equality Bill to allow employees to ask employers if they are receiving equal pay.
Prime Minister John Key appeared open to the bill in an interview on TVNZ’s Breakfast yesterday morning, but by the afternoon he not only said he did not support it, but existing laws already outlawed discrimination.
“We’re aware [of the bill]. We’d need to take a look at that. We haven’t done that.”
The principle of the bill was already reflected in the Equal Pay Act and the Human Rights Act, he said.
“We also would have real concerns if it was divisive in the workplace or had unintended consequences.
I wouldn’t say we support the [bill], but we’ll have a look at it.”
Mr Key said there were “a lot of reasons” why men were paid more than women, and he hoped people were not being paid differently just because of their gender.
“I don’t know if they are or they aren’t. I don’t have any data on that.”
According to the Quarterly Employment Survey in March, men are paid on average $27.54 an hour, 14.4 per cent higher than the $24.07 an hour that women are paid. …
Green MP Catherine Delahunty has a private member’s bill which would force employers to provide information on request to employees about what others are paid for the same job.
Labour leader Phil Goff said he would like to see both bills introduced so Parliament could scrutinise them.
So Key says he is in favour of pay equity, but he doesn’t know any of the details, and isn’t planning to actually support efforts to do anything about it. Sure enough in news this morning, Newsroom reports that “The Green Party’s attempt to introduce a Bill promoting equal pay for men and women has been blocked by National”. So that’s the Nats for you. On pay equity their actions speak louder than their words.