Information for Care and Support workers about the Equal Pay settlement

What you need to know about the settlement for home care and disability support workers.



Kerry Davies, PSA negotiator of the equal pay proposal with home support workers Cathy, Deidre and Helen after the announcement of equal pay proposal for care and support workers.

It has been a long road, but we have finally arrived. Unions and the Government have reached a proposed settlement to Kristine Bartlett’s landmark equal pay case. We couldn’t have got here without your patience and support, and the backing of thousands of other care and support workers who supported equal pay for equal work through your unions.

This historic proposed settlement is better recognition for the value of your mahi, and we are proud to have worked together to make it happen. Your collective voice cannot be stopped.

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Thank you to all union members who supported this campaign, and in particular to Kristine Bartlett. She took this case along with E tū all the way to the Supreme Court. Her actions, backed by your unions have directly lead to today’s proposed settlement. The court ruling showed how gender discrimination causes low pay in mostly-female jobs like care and support.

Negotiators from E tū, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and PSA used this ruling to get a proposed settlement subject to ratification with the Government to cover all care and support workers across the aged residential, disability support and home support sectors. Union members speaking up got us a seat at the table to negotiate this proposed settlement.

Now it’s up to you to decide if you want to accept it. Because this is your settlement from your campaign, you get to have a vote at meetings on whether the settlement goes through or not.

More information about the settlement will be given out at your ratification meeting. We will be notifying you of meetings in your area. Make sure you attend so you know how it will affect you.

Here are some of the details of the proposed settlement

You need to go to a ratification meeting to hear all the details and have your say. Your organiser will tell you the time, location and date.

The proposed settlement is worth over $2 billion over the next five years. It applies to all care and support workers in aged care, disability support, and home support.

  • From July 1 this year, pay rates will increase quickly, and continue rising through to 2021
  • In year 1 from the 1st of July, staff will be paid between $19.00 and $23.50 per hour. The average rate right now is only around $16.00 an hour. Kristine Bartlett was earning $15.75 after 20 years as a caregiver. She will receive $23.50 an hour in the first year, if the settlement is ratified.
  • By 2021, entry level pay will be $21.50 an hour, and top level pay will be $27.00 an hour.
  • Pay increases will be linked to qualifications and experience.
  • The settlement will only go through if it is ratified by a vote open to all care and support workers in aged care, disability services, and home support.
  • If the settlement is accepted by people working in these roles, we will consider it a full settlement of the equal pay case of Kristine Bartlett and the thousands of other cases filed along with her in the Employment Relations Authority.

We are strongly recommending that you accept this settlement. Tens of thousands of workers will get a pay rate that better values the skilled work you do. It will help people working as caregivers and support workers have a more balanced life. Higher pay rates will be supported by a pathway of formal qualifications with the backing of the Government and employers. It represents a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity in the journey for equal pay.

Talk to your colleagues now so we have lots of care and support workers at your meeting. This is more than a ratification vote – it is a celebration of years of your hard work. Without your support this would not have been possible.

See what the Ministry of Health have to say about the settlement on their website, and make sure to check out their fact sheet with frequently asked questions.