CEVEP, the Coalition for Equal Value and Equal Pay, is a coalition of women's organisations and unions. It has been active in the campaign for pay equity in New Zealand since 1986.
CEVEP works to raise public awareness of the need for action and to build a national network of people committed to seeing equal pay for work of equal value implemented in New Zealand.
CEVEP's activites have included lobbying government, writing submissions and appearing before select committees, preparing publicity material on pay equity and organising tours of overseas experts to New Zealand.
Members of CEVEP include individuals and organisations. An irregular newsletter is sent to members.
For CEVEP a high point of the campaign was the passing of the Employment Equity Act in 1990 although the legislation was repealed five months later after National won the 1990 general election.
CEVEP is more optimistic about the possibility of the introduction of pay equity since the general election of 1999.
CEVEP Web Goes Live
CEVEP's internet site was launched on Tuesday 3 April 2001, which is designated as Equal Pay Day in the United States. Green MP Sue Bradford, who made the following comments, officially launched the site.
"It is with mixed feeling that I come here today to launch the CEVEP website. On the one hand, I'm pleased to be here for the inauguration of the website … on other hand, it is sad that even after all these years of campaigning and struggle that women's paid and unpaid work is still undervalued and under paid in Aotearoa. New Zealand, once a leader in human rights and social justice, especially for women, is now lagging behind other industrial nations in its commitment to addressing discrimination in the workforce".
Sue Bradford also noted that since 1989 average total ordinary time earnings increased by 30%, with the highest increase in the finance and utilities sector (70% and 74% increases respectively). However, earnings in the female dominated industries such as the hospitality and retail sectors, increased by only 22% and 28%.
"There are numerous examples of wage discrimination that I could cite, but I am sure each woman here today has their own story of wage discrimination to tell, in one or more occupations. Just for one example, looking at the legal profession, you only have to coMPare the earnings of a family lawyer with that of a commercial or tax lawyer. Guess which areas are female dominated. Wherever women dominate, they are paid less".
Sue Bradford concluded by congratulating the CEVEP team and the website designer for their foresight in designing a website that is user friendly and meets international industry web accessibility standards - "this website has been designed to meet the needs of those on slower connections such as rural users and is also accessible to those with disabilities who use Braille readers or those who listen to web pages. It is entirely appropriate that an equity action group like CEVEP should be taking a lead like this in website accessibility, and I congratulate all concerned on taking big step forward in what is a very old struggle".
The Hon Margaret Wilson, Attorney General and Minister of Labour and the Hon Laila Harre, Minister of Women's Affairs and Associate Minister of Labour, also attended the launch. Laile Harre spoke about her involvement in the pay equity caMPaign and recent initiatives that are being considered by overseas governments.
Tuesday 3 April 2001 was observed as Equal Pay Day in the United States. Tuesday is symbolic, as this is the day when women's wages catch up to men's wages from the previous week. In other words because women on average earn less than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay.
Aotearoa New Zealand
Email CEVEP at email@example.com