Educators first in line to vote early for pay equity

 11 September 2017

When early voting opened this morning, early childhood teachers were among a group of women led by Kristine Bartlett who met in central Wellington to vote for equal pay.

Teachers Donna Eden from Owhiro Bay Kindergarten, and Karen O’Leary and Mel Burgess from Adelaide Early Childhood Centre in Newtown are at the forefront of the NZEI Te Riu Roa ECE pay equity project.

They joined women working in a range of different industries including health care, residential aged care and tertiary education who wanted to lead the charge to vote early for equal pay.

The trio are backing NZEI and CTU’s call for everyone who cares about fair pay for women to vote for a party that will not stand in the way of pay equity claims.

Ms O’Leary said those parties that supported the progress of the Pay Equity Bill were putting more roadblocks in the way of women who were seeking pay equity.

“If this bill becomes law, it is going to be extremely difficult for more female-dominated sectors to repeat the success of Kristine Bartlett and her union E tū, who won significant pay rises for aged care workers,” she said.

“We want to be able to tell our children and grandchildren that we voted for pay equity for women and that our votes made a difference.”

In June, NZEI launched a claim for pay equity for early childhood teachers and staff, uniting the private and public early childhood sector in a historic bid for fair pay. NZEI has a group of potential claimants and is in the process of putting a case together. More information can be found here.