NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said it was important to keep the issue of pay equity in the spotlight and send a public message to the Government that New Zealanders wanted a fair go for every worker in every industry and sector.
NZEI Te Riu Roa is currently pursuing pay equity claims for a number of female-dominated groups of members – support workers employed through the Ministry of Education, support staff in schools (teacher aides, and then administration staff) and early childhood education teachers.
“We know parents and our local community value the work that these educators do, and this day is about getting out and showing that,” said Lynda Stuart, referring to the Fair’s Fair Mana Taurite event that took place on May 5.
Teacher Aide Andrea Andrews from Christchurch says she knows the huge difference that fair pay would make to teacher aides.
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“We would be able to pay rent or apply for a mortgage, feed our kids and live in warm, dry housing without the constant financial worry that keeps many of us awake at night.
But pay equity is far more than this. It means that women and their daughters when they enter the work force will feel valued for the skills they have and what they contribute. It’s about being valued for what we do – striving for the best education and support for some of our most vulnerable tamariki.”
Ministry of Education Communication Support Worker Denise Tetzlaff from Auckland says it is time for pay justice.
“I have worked in my role for nearly 20 years because I love that fact that I am contributing to a child’s education and the future of our country! It is high time that Women are acknowledged financially for the enormous work they do in all roles, regardless of their gender!”