Pūnga mātauranga
  • Primary Teachers
  • Primary Principals
  • ECE & Kindergarten
  • Learning Support
  • Support Staff
Mana Taurite

Steps to Pay Equity

06 Mar 2024
5 min read

Ever wondered how the pay equity process works? Listed here are the steps involved in lodging, investigating and settling a claim to address undervaluing of women's work in a sector or industry. 

Step 1 - We’ll raise a claim with your employer

NZEI Te Riu Roa raises a claim with your employer. For those employed by schools or directly by the Ministry of Education, we have raised claims in female-dominated occupations directly with the Ministry of Education. In early childhood education, we have raised claims at worksites where there is at least one NZEI Te Riu Roa member employed at one or more of the employer’s sites or services.

Step 2 - The employer agrees there are grounds for a case

NZEI Te Riu Roa will work with employers to establish whether there are grounds to believe the work done has been undervalued due to gender.

Once the employer agrees there are grounds for a pay equity claim, every employee is covered by the claim, so long as they are doing the same or substantially similar work.

The union is responsible for representing everyone covered by the pay equity claim, regardless of whether they are union members or not.

Step 3 - Information gathering

Together with your employer, we will gather information about the skills, responsibilities, demands and working conditions of your job, especially the less visible parts. 

This may involve interviewing people who undertake that work, looking at collective agreements and any relevant information about the roles. 

At this point we will ask the sector to give their feedback on the information collected to ensure the work is accurately captured.

Step 4 - Building a picture

We’ll use the information gathered to get a clear picture of what the work involves. 

We will use this to build a picture of the skills, responsibilities, demands and conditions involved in the work.

Step 5 - Finding comparators

The next step is to find appropriate comparator roles.  Appropriate comparators are those doing work of equal value to those covered by the claim. Equal value means work may be similar or different, but requires a similar level of skill, has similar levels of responsibilities, or has similar demands and working conditions as the role we are assessing. 

Appropriate comparators are male-dominated roles with jobs of equal value or female-dominated roles that have settled a pay equity claim (so are no longer affected by gender-based undervaluation).

Step 6 - Assessment

We assess the information we have gathered about your work and the information we have gathered about the comparators. We assess the levels of skills, responsibilities, working conditions and demands for both the group covered by the pay equity claim and potential comparators.

This part of the process allows us to select comparators that are most similar even though the work itself could seem quite different.

We then compare the pay and conditions of the comparators with the work of the claimant group to see whether undervaluation has occurred and if so, the extent of the undervaluation.

Step 7 - Negotiations

Negotiations to settle the claim will take place. A negotiation team is formed which includes people from the claimant group.

A pay equity settlement must include a pay correction and could also include improvements to conditions.

Step 8 - Proposed settlement agreed

The proposed settlement is shared with everyone covered by the claim, who then vote on whether to accept the settlement.

Step 9 - Winning pay equity!

If those covered by the claim vote in favour of the settlement, we have achieved pay equity!

You can find recently settled pay equity settlements for NZEI Te Riu Roa members here