Equal Pay Care and Support Sector Update


The unions, employers and government representatives have been meeting every week to discuss the delivery of equal pay to the care and support sector. The Government negotiators have continued to reaffirm their commitment to reaching a settlement.

Equal Pay Care and Support Sector Update

The unions, employers and government representatives have been meeting every week to discuss the delivery of equal pay to the care and support sector. The Government negotiators have continued to reaffirm their commitment to reaching a settlement.

If we reach agreement on a proposed settlement, we will meet with workers employed in aged care residential, home support and disability support to vote to accept or reject the settlement (ratification meetings). We expect these meetings to occur between February and April 2017.

If these meetings vote to support the settlement proposal it would then be signed by the unions (PSA, E tū and NZNO).

It will probably require, as did the 2011 sleepover and the 2015 home support in-between travel settlements, legislation to be passed to ensure the new agreed pay rates are enforceable by the unions in the courts.

The best offer for you

Negotiations with the Government across large sectors are never as straight forward as negotiating with one employer. The large number of different workplaces covered by these negotiations adds to their complexity. We are focused on getting the best offer for you.

We are negotiating rates of pay, pay scales and detailed wording to ensure a transition of existing care and support workers, and a clear method of progression through the pay scale so it is fair and equitable for everyone.

Any offer is likely to be phased in over a period of time, which is still to be negotiated. It is important to us to make sure that the agreed figures don’t lose their value through inflation and other cost pressures.

We need to agree wording so that the pay rates are delivered to care and support workers without reducing other conditions such as long service leave, sick leave or night/weekend allowances.

Most importantly, the unions want all care and support workers to be released from work for paid ratification meetings to discuss and have a free vote on any proposed settlement.

The Joint Working Group Principles are accepted

The Government has announced it accepts the recommendations of the Joint Working Group made up of union, employer and government representatives on Pay Equity that allow other women workers in historically female dominant workforces a simple process to pursue equal pay for work of equal value.

The Government will be introducing legislation into parliament next year to amend the Equal Pay Act 1972 and the Employment Relations Act to include the Joint Pay Equity Group recommendations in these laws.

Other equal pay cases, including those filed by school support staff and public sector social workers, have been on hold while the Government position on the Joint Pay Equity Working Group recommendations was being considered. These cases can now be progressed.

If you want to find out more about equal pay, call us on 0508 367 772.