coalition for equal value equal pay

advocating pay and employment equity for New Zealand women


The Coalition for Equal Value, Equal Pay...

is a voluntary organisation committed to reducing the gender pay gap in New Zealand through policy and initiatives to advance pay equity in general and equal pay for work of equal value in particular.

Our members' expertise and experience spans the breadth and history of this important policy issue. The purpose of this website is to provide background information for the current campaign and for the media.

CEVEP has campaigned for effective pay equity policy and legislation since 1986. Our activities include advocating to government and political parties, writing submissions and appearing before select committees, producing materials on pay equity for the public and the media, and organising tours of overseas experts to New Zealand.

In April 2013, CEVEP was invited to be an 'intervening' party to a pay equity test case taken under the Equal Pay Act 1972 by resthome caregiver Kristine Bartlett and the Service & Food Workers Union (now called E Tu).


The Pay Equity Challenge...

CEVEP is an active member of the
Pay Equity Challenge Coalition.

For the latest news on the Pay Equity Challenge, see the Coalition's website, blog and RSS feed.

The Pay Equity Challenge Coalition is a broad coalition of community, employer, union, and academic groups who are committed to putting pay equity issues back on the government's, and New Zealand's, agenda.

CEVEP supports the Working Women's Charter, adopted by the Federation of Labour and Public Service Association back in 1980 - and still relevant to working women today.

Gender pay gap, June 2019

22.8.2009. The June 2019 Statistics NZ figures show an improvement in the ratio of women's to men's average hourly wages: from 86.1% last year to 88.1%. But no change in gender pay gap as measured by the median. Gender pay gaps are largest for Māori and Pacific women, especially compared to Pākehā men. See the details here and here.


Equal pay
ns that men and women doing the same job get the same pay rate.

Equal pay for work of equal value
means that men and women get the pay rate for different jobs that require a similar overall level of skills, years of training, responsibility, effort and working conditions.

Equal pay for work of equal value is an policy principle in international conventions ratified by New Zealand.



A personal history of equal Pay

CEVEP member Elizabeth Orr has been a pay equity activist since the 1960s. Her memoire Pay Packets and Stone Walls, published in February 2020, is not only an account of a long and colourful life, but an invaluable history of the long struggle to achieve equal pay for New Zealand women. Still struggling...


Elizabeth speaking at launch,
Victoria University of Welington



Contact CEVEP at cevep@cevepnz.org.nz
or PO Box 12361, Wellington
Aotearoa New Zealand


www.cevepnz.org.nz, 30 June 2020


Sign the Human Rights Commission's petition!

April 2019 - The Human Rights Commission is calling on government to establish an independent pay transparency agency that can provide information and resources for equal pay and pay equity claims. CEVEP and other women's organisations' submissions requested an expert advisory unit, and for hourly wage data by sex and occupation to be made available from IRD returns. The Amendment Bill does not so far address these issues.

Please sign the HRC's petition here.

Equal Pay Amendment Bill

On 19 September 2018, Women's Suffrage Day, the government introduced a Bill to update the 1972 legislation for equal pay and equal pay for work of equal value. In May 2019 it emerged from the Select Committee with some changes but is still very similar to National's 2017 Bill which this government rejected. On 20 July 2019 CEVEP wrote to the Ministers asking them to drop this unsatsfactory Amendment Bill.

In CEVEP's view, if Kristine Bartlett’s 2013 claim had been taken under this new Bill, she’d still be waiting for pay equity, or might even have lost her case.

Pay equity is human rights for women, ratified by New Zealand. Progress is at last being made on pay equity claims under the Equal Pay Act 1972. Yet this Equal Pay Amendment Bill to update the legislation and incorporate the Joint Working Group's Principles:-

* Undermines our current rights and access to Authority and Court determination,

* Adds snakes and ladders processes that slow claims down,

* Makes pay equity just another bargaining issue, and

* Discriminates against women by reducing our right to back pay.

It does this by imposing an inappropriate market-bargaining model on complaints-based human rights legislation. This Bill needs major changes if it is to achieve the government's policy goals for New Zealand women.

Here is CEVEP's full submission on the Bill, together with a summary. See CEVEP's Labour Day media release here. Submissions are were considered by Parliament's Education & Workforce Committee. Follow the parliamentary process and download the select committee's report hereCEVEP is currently seeking further improvements to the Bill, or that it be dropped. The Council of Trade Unions is also seeking further changes.

Meanwhile, current pay equity claims roll on under the legislation we've got, as clarified by the courts. See here.

In October 2019 CEVEP made a submission to the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment's public consultation on proposed Fair Pay Agreements - multi-employer/union collective agreements to cover a particular occupation or sector. Under the present enterprise-focused bargaining framework, CEVEP considers that Fair Pay Agreements could be a valuable vehicle for wide delivery of pay equity wage adjustments.

In February 2020 CEVEP made a submission on the pay equity sections of the Public Service Legislation Amendment Bill.

Watch here for Minister for Women Julie-Anne Genter speaking about the bill and the government's current work towards pay equity, in a Gender Impact Analysis webinar hosted by the Public Policy Institute, University of Auckland on 10 June 2020.

30 June 2020. Post-Covid, the Bill is back in Parliament for third reading amendments and is likely to be passed before the house rises for the election

Court case results in big pay-out for carers....

Caregivers settlement

The offer settling the Bartlett pay equity claim lifts care and support workers' pay to between $19 and $23.50 from 1 July 2017, rising to between $21.50 and $27 in July 2021.

This claim was first with the Employment Court in 2012, leading to judgments clarifying that Equal Pay Act did allow equal pay for work of equal value claims for women's and men's typically different work. The government, which funds most care work from our taxes, then set up a Joint Working Group to develop Principles for Implementing Equal Pay and another Joint Working Group to negotiate settlement of Kristine Bartlett's claim. After 17 months a settlement was announced which the government extended agreed pay increases to 55,000 care and support workers in aged care and disability residences, with staggered implementation of new rates from 1 July 2017.
See more about the settlement here.
See the whole story here
See the Care & Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act including Schedule of pay rates here.

Delivering this settlement across multiple employers required legislation. CEVEP supports the settlement's application to 55,000 carers. However, we expressed concern to the Select Committee that the Bill didn't just implement the settlement as agreed by employers and unions, it used legislation itself to extinguish or undermine women's right to claim a full pay equity rate of pay over an 11 year period.

See CEVEP's submission here.

On 25 September 2018 the Public Service Association secured an offer for 1,300 social workers at Oranga Tamariki (formerly Child Youth & Family) that would lift their average pay by just over 30%. The claim was lodged in 2015, following the Bartlett vs Terranova judgment.

See 'What's Happening' page
for other
pay equity claims
in progress...