Midwives, new mums and pregnant women are celebrating the start of historic talks between the College of Midwives and the Crown over the issue of pay parity. The New Zealand College of Midwives, which represents about 3000 midwives, is in mediation with the Ministry of Health after filing an equal pay case with the High Court last August.
"Women's work is often invisible to funders and governments, and midwives are treated the same way,” NZ College of Midwives, Canterbury-West Coast region chairwoman Violet Clapham told news website Stuff.
"We have had no ability to initiate consultations with the Ministry of Health to insist on any fee increases since 2007."
News website Stuff reported last year that the college was sueing the Government for paying them less because they're women. In that article, college chief executive Karen Guilliland said that self-employed midwives typically look after about 50 expectant mums a year and are paid about $100,000 annually by the ministry, but earn an average of $53,000 before tax because of various expenses they cover as a business, and their wages do not increase to match their experience.
The average self-employed midwife in New Zealand earned $2200 per case, she said, while in Australia, midwives received an average of $4000.
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