Unions welcome Government commitment to pay equity for mental health and addiction support workforce
14 Feb 2018
The Council of Trade Unions, the Public Service Association and E tū welcome the Government’s commitment to equal pay for mental health and addiction support workers.
Health Minister Dr David Clark says his ministry will now begin formal negotiations with unions, providers and District Health Boards.
An estimated 3800 working people were excluded from last year’s care and support settlement after the National government refused to include them in negotiations.
"This is good news for working people who were left out of last year’s landmark care and support settlement," CTU President Richard Wagstaff says.
"When government, ministries and unions work together, great outcomes can be achieved - and we look forward to fruitful negotiations."
Unions expect these negotiations to occur with urgency, to extend the full terms of the care and support settlement to people working in mental health and addiction support.
"Our members in mental health and addiction support will be encouraged by today’s announcement," PSA Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.
"This proves to them that the work they do is valued - and so are the vulnerable people who they support every day."
Unions say many workers in mental health and addiction support had considered moving to other types of care and support work where pay rates have increased after the settlement.
"We hope all the parties can work together to get this settlement in place for mental health and addiction support workers," E tū Assistant National Secretary John Ryall says.
"The care and support settlement showed what a difference equal pay can make to the lives of these workers - but it’s not equal if it’s not for everyone."