Negotiating pay in an individualised funding environment

Franyja Johnson has been an individualised funding (IF) support worker with the same family for 4 years.

IF workers are employed directly by the person or family that they are providing support and care services to, rather than through a provider.

Franyja is a proud PSA member, confounding the common misconception amongst IF workers that unionisation isn’t useful for them. She is passionate about workers’ rights, speaking as a PSA / Auckland Disability Law hui last year about the future of IF work.

For workers like Franyja, there is a need to ensure that their rights are respected, while also making sure that the rights of the disabled people they are working with aren’t compromised.

Despite being in an IF environment, Franyja managed to negotiate a $2.50 / hour increase in her pay rate recently, and she has some tips for others in the same situation:

  • Join and get support from the union, particularly with evidence about the value of your work. Franyja used living wage information provided by the PSA to help her negotiate her pay;

  • Utilise any opportunity your union provides to help you learn negotiating skills;

  • Put your request to discuss pay to your family in writing. This makes it more formal, harder to ignore, and also give the family time to think about what their response might be;

  • Be confident – know that you are worth it and that the work you do is valuable;

  • It is a good idea to organise the time to discuss pay outside of your work hours, to make it a distinct conversation.

Being connected through the PSA is a way for IF workers to support each other, and Franyja is keen to talk to others in the same situation as her.

For more information or to make contact with Franyja, contact PSA organiser Amy Ross on or 0508 367 772.