NZPFU assisting PSA in pay equity claim

The PSA has approached FENZ and the NZPFU as a “comparator” for a pay equity claim.

Pay equity claims aim to make a case that employees in female dominated occupations have had their work undervalued – because that work has traditionally been “women’s work”.

The right to pay equity has been established in court cases over the last few years. It is an employment right. Supporting employment rights aligns with our own work and values. We are very happy to support and assist with this pay equity work. The government, unions and state sector agencies have agreed to deal with pay equity claims and unions have lodged claims on behalf of a number of female dominated occupational groups. The pay equity process involves looking at a female-dominated occupation and at comparator occupations that have traditionally been male dominated, and comparing the skills, responsibilities and working conditions required for each.

The DHBs and the PSA are working together on the DHB clerical / administration claim and have selected a range of potential comparator occupations across a number of organisations. One potential comparator occupation that has been identified is firefighters. A number of other potential comparator roles have been identified across a range of employers as part of this process.

This process does not mean that the firefighter role is considered to be the same as DHB admin clerical workers.

The role of firefighter will be assessed through a data gathering process including interviews with firefighters up to Senior Firefighter with no more than 10 years-service. The process examines the skills, responsibility and conditions/demand of the occupations and the degree of effort or levels required by those factors.

The PSA has identified firefighting as a potential male-dominated industry using the Australia/New Zealand Standard Code of Occupations and other similar occupations identified have been fishery officers, tradespeople, corrections officers, custom officers and rail track workers.

NZPFU is working with its Local representatives to identify possible stations where interviews can take place and volunteers for interviews will be approached:

  • All information gathered will be used for the purposes of pay equity only.
  • It will not be used for any other purpose and it is not related in any way to job evaluation processes for firefighters. Interview records are confidential and are anonymised for the purposes of the pay equity process.
  • When DHBs and the PSA have completed the interviews, they will consolidate the interview records into an anonymised summary profile that provides a profile of the skills, responsibilities and working conditions relevant to firefighters.
  • The anonymised summary profile will be shared with the NZPFU and FENZ to confirm that this is the work that is carried out by firefighters.

For more information please find attached:


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