Yesterday was Equal Pay Day – the day where women in New Zealand start working for free, until the end of the year. We held an Equal Pay Day picnic at Parliament to mark the occasion.
We celebrated the success of our campaign to get commitment and support for equal pay from MPs across all political parties – the biggest cross-party commitment to end gender-discrimination of pay ever made. Over a thousand people from all over the country sent their stories to women MPs; and each story highlights a very personal reason why equal pay is a “must have”, not a “nice to have”.
Equal Pay is an unstoppable force. Now is the time for us all to decide whether we want to be on the side of fairness, justice and equality… or not.
NZNO industrial services manager Cee Payne spoke at the picnic. You can watch her speech here, and the transcript is below:
Haere Mai and a big warm welcome to the equal pay picnic at Parliament. Thank you for adding your voice in unity today with others who seek equality for women: equality for women in all spheres of our lives.
Courageous people such as Kristine Bartlett, Michelle Payne & Justin Trudeau and our wonderful Lower Hutt resthome worker Kristine Bartlett. Kristine, in her Terranova Case for Equal Pay said, “I love our residents – I love where I am working – and making people happy – they are people who need love and support. We caregivers feel so deeply about our job but we can’t live on love. Our employers disrespect our compassion”.
Who joined with me in a big whoop last week when Michelle Payne, the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155 year history, and wearing the colours of the suffragette movement – purple, white and green, said “I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed because women can do anything and we can beat the world!”?
And then to cap it off newly elected Prime Minister of Canada Justine Trudeau made the decision to give Canada it’s first Cabinet with equal numbers of women and men. When he was asked to explain his decision around gender parity he responded simply with “Because it’s 2015”.
It is 2015 and today 10 November is a symbolic day. 86% of 2015 is over, finished today.
In 2015 women in Aotearoa still earn only 86% of men’s pay. Please give a big round of applause for our coffee cart vendor Espresso Rescue -they are offering coffees for women at 86% of the regular price today.
Would you feel short changed if 2015 was to finish today? Like Michelle Payne – the women in Aotearoa have felt short changed for over 150 years!
We are relying on you to use your voice and shift women’s pay in NZ to 100%
We are determined to go all the way for equal pay and end this injustice.
31 members of parliament across five political parties have told us we can rely on them too. They have pledged to pay the job not the gender and to never support gender discrimination in pay… Each of you thank you.
It has been said Rosa Parks was the “Queen Mother of a movement”, whose single act of heroism sparked the movement for freedom, justice and equality. Her greatest contribution is that she told us that a regular person can make a difference.”
The women of NZ are relying on you.
Thank you, each of you, for making a difference today.