• Posted on: 14/02/2022
  • 2 minutes to read

What does this mean for me?

This is potentially life changing because your work will be valued properly, and you will be paid what you are worth. It means you get to work somewhere that is important to you and your values without sacrificing your pay.

What is pay equity and why does it impact you?

The PSA, the union for social workers, began a process in September 2019 to achieve the wages that you deserve by filing a pay equity claim. We are now at the stage of negotiating improved pay for social services workers in the NGO sector.

Pay equity is about women and men receiving the same pay for doing jobs that might seem different on the surface, but in reality require the same or similar degrees of skills, responsibility, conditions, experience and effort. Often workers in female dominated occupations have experienced undervaluation based on sex, perceptions and prejudices, which minimised the value of their skills, responsibilities, conditions, experience and effort.

Social services workers in the NGO sector are undervalued and the PSA are working to have this corrected. You can find out more about how the pay equity process works here.

What is happening?

The PSA raised two claims for NGO social services workers, for those who do social work and one for all other female-dominated occupations. This claim has been raised with five employers at this stage and will rolled out across the sector once the claim is settled. 

We have reached an “Agreement in Principle Terms of Settlement” for the five employers directly under the claim and are now working through ratification processes. The PSA and SSPA are engaging the Public Service Commission Te Kawa Mataaho on the process with government to extend this settlement to the wider NGO Funded Sector.

We will then begin focussing on the second part of the claim covering those who are not doing social work, but work in social services.

Our goal

We plan to negotiate a settlement that is comparable to Oranga Tamariki social workers (including the salary system and progression), any other relevant matters, and how the government are going to pay for this.

To achieve this, we need YOU to get involved - keep scrolling down to find out how.



Not a member yet?

Join the PSA now to get involved in achieving pay increases for SOCIAL SERVICES SOCIAL workers.

We need you to get involved!

Your PSA delegates and Pay Equity team have been working hard at the bargaining table to get the best possible deal. It is in everyone’s interest that we achieve the best possible result in a timely fashion because it will flow to all social services workers in the NGO sector.

To be successful in persuading government we need the Social Services Sector to be unionised, members need to encourage co-workers to join the PSA here, the union for social workers, so we can be stronger as we work for equity.

There are some big changes coming in your sector.

The Public Service Association, the union that covers Social Services Social Workers, has negotiated an agreement in principle equal pay settlement for its members in the five employers.  Next step is advocating for sector extension of the settlement. We'd love you to join the PSA (which you can do by clicking here), but if you just want more information then sign-up to our updates via the form below and we'll update you regularly on what is happening by email or SMS:

Click here to register for updates as a non-member.

As Social Services Social Worker the work you do is often unseen and not understood. We want you to tell us your story and what achieving pay equity would mean for you.

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


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. 

You can also contact us via email at NGOEP@psa.org.nz to express your interest or find out more.

The role of delegates