30 Nov 2020

Pay equity: District Health Board admin workers offered pay deal

12:46 pm on 30 November 2020

DHBs have promised to pay thousands of DHB admin workers more in a step towards a pay equity settlement.

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Minister of Health Andrew Little says it's unacceptable work by women has been undervalued for so long. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The Public Service Association union has reached an agreement with DHBs that, if ratified, will mean the workers will get up to $2500 more a year.

Ninety-two percent of the admin staff are women. The workers said they had been underpaid for decades, and union members also had felt let down by a delay in the offer.

In a statement, Minister of Health Andrew Little said it was unacceptable the work had been undervalued for so long because it was primarily done by women.

"The DHB clerical and administration workforce makes an important contribution to provision of health services to New Zealanders," Little said.

"I acknowledge the considerable effort by the PSA and its members and the DHBs to reach the point where we now have a plan to address this unfairness. I wish the DHB workers covered by this pay equity claim well as they consider this agreement."

More work in coming months would result in further pay increases, he said.

In a statement, Minister for Women Jan Tinetti said putting more money in the hands of the lowest paid workers had a significant positive impact.

"We still have more to do," Tinetti said.

"That's why Labour has pledged to make it easier for women to gain pay equity in their organisation or across their industry through increased transparency on pay rates.

"Secrecy around pay rates has not served women well in getting fair deals."

It was the latest in the government's work to address the gender pay gap, Tinetti said, and also followed the $173 million pay settlement for mental health and addiction support workers.

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