Some 7000 admin workers across the country - mostly women - are demanding equal pay from District Health Boards, saying they have been unfairly discriminated against because their jobs are seen as "women's work".
Administrative and clerical staff who are members of the Public Service Association officially raised the pay equity claim today.
"DHB clerical and administration staff are among the poorest-paid workers in the health system, and around 90 per cent of them are women," PSA national secretary Erin Polaczuk said in a statement.
"They keep the system running, but most are paid little more than the minimum wage because their jobs have been considered 'women's work'.
"This claim, raised under the process recommended by the Joint Working Group on Equal Pay Principles, will set about ending this once and for all."
The claim has been endorsed by nearly 5000 PSA members who work in DHBs.
DHB representatives had received the claim and were working through the official process, the PSA said.
"Administration and clerical workers keep our health system on its feet, and the importance and value of their work has been overlooked for too long," Polaczuk said.
"This claim is about more than money - it's about recognising the important role these women play.
"We look forward to fruitful discussions with the employers, and a swift resolution to the claim."
Today is Administrative Workers' Appreciation Day, which marks the contribution admin make to New Zealand workplaces.