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Women now better than men on pay rises in new zealand



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Senator Jim Short Deputy Leader o f the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Finance Assisting the Leader on Commonwealth/State Relations

SMF 129/92

WOMEN NOW DO BETTER THAN MEN ON PAY RISES IN NEW ZEALAND

Claims by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Quentin Bryce, that the differential between male and female pay rates could widen under a deregulated industrial relations system have been comprehensively disproved in New Zealand.

Ms Bryce’s false claims were repeated in the Senate today by the Minister for Industrial Relations, Senator Cook.

Recent figures obtained from the New Zealand Government show that since the Employment Contracts Act was introduced in May 1991, women's pay has increased relative to men on the basis of average earnings in all surveyed industries (see accompanying statistical

data).

From May 1991 to August 1992 (the most recent available figures) the average hourly earnings of women in New Zealand increased 3%, but for men went up only 2.4%. Even including overtime, women have done better than men — 2.8% and 2.1% respectively.

The same is true in terms of average weekly earnings, with both ordinary time earnings and overtime increasing faster for women than for men since the Employment Contracts Act was introduced.

Contrary to Ms Bryce's reported claims — and Senator Cook's usual bending of the truth — that Australian women could be worse off under Coalition industrial relations policies, the increased flexibility in labour markets w h i c h " has- already

occurred in New Zealand has resulted in greater opportunities and relatively higher earnings for women across the Tasman.

When the Liberal/National Coalition takes office after the coming election and introduces its Jobsback policies, similar advantages will result for Australian women.

The orchestrated anti-Coalition campaign currently being waged via the media should be seen for the distortion of the truth that it is. ,

Canberra 17 December 1992

Contact: Rod Woolley (06)277 3119 (w), (06)288 9355 (h)

C OM M ONW EALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M IC A H