• Posted on: 27/06/2023
  • 3 minutes to read
  • Tagged with: Community Public Services

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Join us at meetings in September for an update on your pay equity claim

We’ve been working hard to progress this claim ahead of the election, alongside our union allies at NZNO and E Tū. We’re inviting you to pay equity meetings coming up this month.

These meetings are a chance to:

  • Hear an update on where the claim is at, and what will happen next.
  • Ask questions to your union and get informed.
  • Get more involved in the claim as it progresses.

We’re holding meetings in person for support workers in the representative employers.

If you work for one of the below employers, you’re invited to these meetings. Click here to find your meeting schedule.
  • Emerge Aotearoa
  • Geneva Healthcare
  • Healthcare New Zealand
  • New Zealand Community Living
  • Pathways health
  • Spectrum Care
  • Te Roopu Taurima
  • VisionWest Community Trust

If you’re a home care and support worker who works for any other employer, we’re inviting you to meet with us online.

If you work for any other employer, click here to find your online meeting time.

There are different meetings for different people because of how the claim works. We raised the claim with 15 employers that are representative of the wider care and support sector to make sure the claim would progress quickly. For workers at other employers, there is a parallel process we are working on with the aim of everyone receiving the pay equity settlement at the same time.

Not a union member yet? That’s okay! We’d still love to see you at the meeting. Or you can join online here today.


About this claim

Our unions aim is for all support workers to receive pay equity at the same time,  that you get the pay rates you deserve, your work is valued, and your skills are recognised .

Unions raised this Care and Support workers pay equity claim with 15 employers in community home support, disability, mental health & addictions and aged care residential as “representative employers”. A second process is then needed to extend the settlement to all support workers in the community - this will be done through the funded framework.  

Why 15 employers?  So we could get the work done as quickly as possible – the process is different than the union negotiated care and support workers settlement in 2017.  

Are you included in the 15 employers listed below? 

BUPA, CCS Disability Action Incorporated, Dunedin Community Care Trust, Emerge Aotearoa, Geneva Healthcare Limited, Healthcare of New Zealand Ltd, New Zealand Community Living Ltd, Pacific Island Homecare Services Trust, Pathways Health Ltd, Presbyterian Support Central, Spectrum Care Ltd, Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust, The Lifewise Trust, Toucan Taranaki, VisionWest Community Trust

Not employed by one of the 15 representive employers?  – the funded framework is the process for support workers to get pay equity.  Union officials, delegates and members are lobbying politicians - MPS and Ministers -  for all support workers to receive pay equity at the same time  but this  is not guaranteed and we need support workers to be involved and lobbying with us.

Other Pay equity claims have taken 3 or 4 years! But by working with the 15 “representative employers” we have completed a huge amount of the necessary work and are now waiting for the report to government to be finalised and funding to be approved so we can start bargaining. We have dates on hold to start bargaining as soon as we can and we are continuing to do the work required to speed up the bargaining process.  There is then another process for government to sign off on funding after we reach a settlement and we will continue to work with the employers and government to ensure that this is done as quickly as possible.





Latest Updates

Lobbying action continues to build around the country in support of the Care & Support Pay Equity Claim! Members all over the motu have been telling their stories to Ministers, seeking their support to implement the union-negotiated settlement and an interim pay increase - now!  

Lobbying resources

Want to support the Care & Support claim by lobbying your local MP? Below you will find our lobbying resources to help you prepare for success!

More ways to get involved

As an essential health worker in care and support, the work you do is often unseen and not understood. 

We want you to tell us your story, whether it's:

  • what do you do in your job,
  • why this is important to your clients,
  • and/or why your work and skills need to be valued.

Click here to record a video, send a voice message, or write your story.


Add your name to the form below to connect with other care and support workers in your region to collectively work on Pay Equity.



Care and Support Workers: Getting Involved

The role of the delegate is to act as a democratic leader and represent PSA members in the workplace. Relationship building is key to the role of a delegate – with members, fellow delegates and with management.

To become a delegate:

PSA delegates are a part of a team. Even after you’ve done your training, you’ll be supported by other delegates and your PSA organiser. You can also contact Te Roopu Tohutohu Manaaki, the PSA’s member advice and support centre, for more help. 

The role of delegates


Click below for some answers to frequently asked questions and information on how to help support the claim!

Pay equity is about women and men receiving the same pay for doing jobs that are different, but of equal value. That is, jobs that require similar levels of skills, responsibility and effort.

An assessment of the job is done and it is compared against a similar male-dominated role – a comparator – to calculate appropriate rates of pay. Men are also covered by the claim! This is different from Equal Pay which compares the rates of pay of men and women doing the same job.

It is time your work is valued, and your pay rates recognise your skills, effort, experience and work conditions.

Historically women have been paid less than men. This means that jobs that have mostly been carried out by women, such as: Care & Support, Nursing, or Administration, are paid less than jobs that have mostly been carried out by men. 

This is sex-based discrimination!

Pay Equity claims are a way of ensuring that 'women's' work is fairly paid. This Care & Support Pay Equity claim aims to achieve new rates of pay that reflect the skills and responsibilities, and physical and emotional effort that it takes to be a Care & Support Worker. 

You are worth 100%!


The claim was raised with 15 employers across aged care, disability, home support, and mental health & addictions. These are known as the 'representative employers'

The claim covers workers who work in care and support roles for the 15 representative employers:

BUPA, CCS Disability Action Incorporated, Dunedin Community Care Trust, Emerge Aotearoa, Geneva Healthcare Limited, Healthcare of New Zealand Ltd, New Zealand Community Living Ltd, Pacific Island Homecare Services Trust, Pathways Health Ltd, Presbyterian Support Central, Spectrum Care Ltd, Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust, The Lifewise Trust, Toucan Taranaki, VisionWest Community Trust.

If you work for one of the above organisations when the claim is settled you will automatically receive the new rates of pay. 

The Unions want the settlement to be extended to ALL other Support workers - but that will be a separate process, using the funded framework with agreement by the Government.

Our Unions aim is for all care and support workers to receive an increase in pay at the same time.




A great question! 

Back in 2017 there was a case taken by Support Worker Kristine Bartlett and the unions to say that Care & Support work was undervalued. This went through the courts and.....it won!

Through this case, it was established that Care & Support work was undervalued and workers saw their rates increase. This was called the Care and Support Workers Pay Equity Settlement Act. This act set out the rates of pay for Care & Support workers for the next four years. 

However, over the past four years inflation and the cost of living have skyrocketed, meaning these new rates have eroded and now the top rate of $28.25 will only be $5.55 above the minimum wage. This act will expire on 1 July 2023  and so a new way to address Pay Equity for Care & Support workers was needed. 

So, on 1 July 2022 PSA, Etu & NZNO lodged a new Pay Equity Claim - This is the claim that is happening now!

You might be wondering.....what stops this from happening again after this new claim has settled? 

Part of the negotiations for this claim will be to ensure a better mechanism to maintain pay equity rates. This means that we won't have to do another Pay Equity claim to keep Care & Support workers' rates where they need to be in line with inflation. 

A Pay Equity claim is a huge piece of work!

Below you can see the different stages of a claim. There is a lot of complex, technical, and detailed work that goes into proving that your work is undervalued, and then bargaining with the government to get the funding needed to pay you what you are worth!  

A claim can take up to three years to complete. However, this Care & Support Claim is on track to be settled in a year, and the unions and the representative employers have been putting a huge amount of time and resources into making that happen!


More information

In 2017, care and support workers achieved historic pay increases and improvements when we unions won our Care and Support (Pay Equity) Settlement. The courts agreed with unionised care and support workers that the work was undervalued, and that pay rates, training, and progression needed to be vastly improved. This was a huge achievement for nearly 65000 workers in aged care residential, home support, disability support and, in 2018, mental health and addictions. This Settlement was an important step in recognising the value of the work care and support workers do.

The basis of the historic  2017 settlement was the establishment of a close relationship between care and support workers and remuneration paid to DHB healthcare and psychiatric assistants. Between 2017 and 2022 the remuneration for DHB workers has moved way ahead of the care and support workers’ remuneration.

The unions are claiming an immediate catch up and the establishment of new pay rates and we need workers to attend meetings to discuss and endorse the pay claim

The care and support workforce is under pressure from the many demands of Covid but also because of staff shortages caused by New Zealand’s traditional reliance on low pay rates and migrant workers. A settlement of new increased pay rates is an important part of resolving these issues.

Union members, union delegates and union staff were involved in achieving the extension of the Pay Equity Settlement Act (expires Dec 2023). The act became law the week of June 20th with a 3% increase to all support workers' rates of pay and maintained the requirement for training and qualifications.

We believe the 3% was not enough. We have formally written to the government to ask them to agree to an interim pay increase during the pay equity process (similar to other workers in the health sector pay equity claims) until the full pay equity process is completed. 18 months is far too long to wait for a further increase given the government had decided to provide you with only a 3% increase on your rates of pay during this period.

This is a joint campaign with our sister unions, NZNO and E tū. 

Other employers in the representative PE claim are BUPA, CCS Disability Action, Dunedin Community Care Trust, The Lifewise Trust, Pacific Island HomeCare, Presbyterian Support central and Toucan Taranaki.

Our care and home support members