Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, Karen Guilliland, has confirmed an historical pay parity discrimination case, regarding pay versus gender, has been filed under the NZ Bill of Rights Act.
According to info news, an LMC (leading maternity carer) Midwife is paid the equivalent of someone considered a junior member of staff in New Zealand.
Karen Guilliland says that the level of maternity care in the country will fall, putting women and babies at risk, if the Ministry of Health doesn’t act on rising midwives’ incomes.
“Even more concerning it has started to impact on the midwife LMC’s ability to provide women with the services they have come to expect and deserve over the last 25 years. This case is not only about pay equity for a female workforce; it is also about protecting future mothers and babies and sustaining the midwifery workforce that provides them with the majority of their maternity care,” Karen said.
It was also revealed the Ministry of Health is allocating $2.1 million extra to pay around 1,000 LMC Midwives, mothers and babies. This works out around $41 extra per birth.
However, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives added that “it is not going to address the need for a sustainable income.”
As a result of the ongoing pay issue, the New Zealand College of Midwives has taken its case to the High Courts under the NZ Bill of Rights.
“It is the last straw. The Ministry of Health cannot continue to ignore and undervalue its female workforces and the thousands of mums and babies that rely on our midwives,” Karen added.
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