Friday, February 20, 2009

Women come last under National

Gender equality in the workplace is one of the basic tenets of a civilised society, and has been part of our public service since the mid 70's. But not any more. National is cancelling two pay-equity inquiries in the public service. Why? Because acting on the results might cost money:

The inquiries were aimed at female social workers at Child, Youth and Family, who are paid 9.5 per cent less than their male colleagues, and at inequities in the pay of mainly female school support workers.

But State Services Minister Tony Ryall said the investigations would "generate an additional form of remuneration pressure that is unaffordable in the current economic and fiscal environment".

And there you have National's priorities in a nutshell: equality - decency - is "unaffordable". That money would be better spent giving tax cuts to their rich - and primarily male - mates. Under National, the government will no longer lead by example on pay equity. Under National, women come last.