Government for the Boys 2

Yesterday I asked John Key what preparations the Government is making to respond to equal pay claims based on the 1972 Equal Pay Act following the Employment Court’s decision last week.

The decision, as we all know, is hugely significant for women. It means they can go to court to sue over claims they’re being paid less to care for the elderly, for example, just because they’re women.

John Key’s response to the question?

“I am not familiar with the particular case.”

Now, to be fair I wouldn’t expect the Prime Minister to be across everything that goes on in our courts, but you might expect that he’d have some inkling of the importance of the battle for equal pay which is being hailed as a landmark event in the fight for equal pay for women.

The Prime Minister’s advisors would easily have anticipated that this was the direction my questions were heading in, but he didn’t even bother to become “familiar” with the case.

His flippant dismissal of the case as not worthy of his Prime Ministerial familiarity was an insult to the women who work so hard in the caring industry for such insufficient pay.

This issue shouldn’t have even had to go to court. All of the workers taking the case will be workers being paid out of government contracts. The PM has even previously responded saying they’d love to do something if they had the cash. The court ruling now points to this being a legal as well as moral issue.

If this Government wants to improve its poll rating with women I would suggest they might want to at least pretend to be interested in the issues we care about.

4 Comments Posted

  1. The PM has always had contempt for the electorate knowing that the smiles and tom foolery would take most of us in and keep him in his job. He seems to have completely cut away any memory of his own family’s struggles to succeed. His heart remains with the money markets.

  2. Both PM and his minister(s)now shamelessly use such tactic too often during Parliament question time…
    “I am not aware of it” (or just plainly I don’t know), ” I don’t remember/ I can’t recall” So you can’t continue to ask/challenge further…
    Nowadays we have a Finance minister refused to give any estimate/guesstimate about the cost for the next asset sale…obviously he has lost the ability of simple number counting (and he is the minister of What?).

    Or the National govt knows how outraged the public will be if they were given the true cost of such sale…
    Here is the tactic again: I give you no target, so you can’t shoot…
    what a disgusting, shameless and useless bunch!

  3. Service and Food Workers Union national secretary John Ryall says:

    Now we need to do the work on identifying a comparable role, in terms of skills, responsibility and effort. This will be tough, as caregiving is highly skilled and demanding work.

    Be interesting to see what he comes up with.

    Ryall then goes on to say:

    For far too long “women’s work” has been undervalued and underpaid

    Perhaps there is a reason why this concept of “women’s work” exists. I have a view as to why, but am far too polite to say it.

  4. Whilst I agree that there is still much work to be done on overall equality.. I watched question-time on tuesday & was taken aback at Mr. Key’s totally flippant/SMUG responses to ALL opposition questions, often just yes/no. He is really showing his true colours.. this Govt. is not just ‘for the boys’ BUT mostly ‘for the top 10%.. in suits & gumboots’ (business/farmers) & to hell with everyone else !
    definatley ‘time for a change’ to the voices of balance & reason..


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