Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PSA welcomes gender and ethnic pay gap progress

The PSA has welcomed new data that shows New Zealand’s public service is continuing to lead the private sector in closing gender and ethnic pay gaps and promoting women to leadership positions.

The 2023 Public Service Workforce Data released by Te Kawa Mataaho (Public Service Commission) also underlines efforts to the lift the pay of low-income workers.

“This is the result of practical action plans agreed by us and employers and shows how the public service can lead by example in closing pay gaps and promoting diversity,” said National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, Duane Leo.

“We urge the private sector take note and redouble its own efforts to create pay transparency and do what’s needed to get rid of unjustifiable pay differences by gender and ethnicity.”

The latest data at 30 June 2023 shows:

  • The public service gender pay gap was 7.1%, the lowest it has ever been. The overall gender pay gap is 8.6%.
  • The Māori pay gap is now 5.4%, down from 6.5% in 2022 and 11.2% in 2018, the Pacific pay gap has fallen to 16.6%, down from 17.7% last year and 21.6% in 2018.
  • The number of women in senior management roles continues to increase, now at 55.9% – up slightly from 55.8% last year and 39.8 percent in 2010.

“There was also pleasing progress, particularly during this cost-of-living crisis, in lifting the pay of low-income workers. This reflected the welcome priority set by the Government and settlements under the recent PSPA process,” said Mr Leo.

The data shows the biggest increases in pay were for lowest paid and non-managerial staff. Pacific and Māori men and women had above average increases in average pay. Those earning less than $60,000 now comprise 9.1% of the public service workforce, down from 16.8% in 2022 and 38.6% in 2018.

The union also welcomed the latest Kiwis Count survey results, which show the trust in the public service remaining high.

“Eight out of 10 trust the public service based on their personal experience. Public service workers are rated highly for their honesty, for doing their best to help people and for the respect they show.”

“New Zealanders know they are getting great service and value for money from what public service workers do for them.

“We hope as the incoming government embarks on its significant cost cutting drive in the public sector that it weighs how its decisions will impact New Zealanders, and not just public service workers,” said Mr Leo.

The workforce data shows jobs rising in the public service over the past year with increases across a number of important areas including immigration to plug skills gaps, support for people impacted by storm events, in corrections and courts to keep communities safe and in preparing for climate change.

“These are all valuable services in some of the very areas that the new government has targeted for its big cuts – we will be advocating very strongly to new Ministers that what was said on the election campaign trail if carried out will have very real consequences for the services New Zealanders depend on,” Mr Leo said.

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