• Posted on: 25/07/2018
  • 4 minutes to read
  • Tagged with: Community Public Services National Mental Health Committee

Today, a wrong was righted as Health Minister David Clark signed the $173.5 million settlement, along with representatives from unions, providers and the Ministry of Health.

The previous National-led government had excluded these workers from the original $2 billion settlement, and the Labour party has now made good on the commitments it made before last year’s general election.

More than half the workers in the sector will get an increase of more than $3 an hour – and one in five will get more than $5 an hour.

“We’re thrilled to see this wrong righted today,” PSA Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

“Mental health and addiction support workers work with some of the most vulnerable people in New Zealand, and today they are getting what they truly deserve – because they are worth 100%.”

Health Minister David Clark made special mention of the “persistence and hard work” of unions – the PSA, E Tu and NZ Council of Trade Unions – in ensuring the settlement was reached so that workers can be “paid adequately for what they do” and in line with last year’s settlement for care and support workers.

Kerry Davies paid tribute to workers for never giving up on achieving the settlement. She also acknowledged the role of the new Government in delivering on the promise to “put this right”.

“In particular this is the beginning of further improvements we can anticipate workers in the mental health and addiction sector when the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry makes recommendations to the Government later this year”.


See also: Equal Pay ratification meetings for Mental Health support workers

21 Jun 2018

We are finally here; after years of campaigning, and filing the Equal Pay case in 2012, the unions won!

Following 20 months of negotiations with the Government we have a proposed settlement. This also follows various campaigns to improve support workers’ wages such as the sleepover victory, the PSA/E tū joint Up Where We Belong campaign and Time to Care campaign which led to travel time and guaranteed hours for home support workers.

The historic Equal Pay settlement negotiated with Government and the unions E tū, PSA, NZNO and CTU is the largest pay settlement ever in the sector. We won because thousands of support workers like you joined together and campaigned, lobbied MPs and educated communities about the value of your work and the need to pay you properly.

Now that we have a proposed settlement, it must be voted on and ratified by support workers across New Zealand, before it comes into effect. We are holding thousands of meetings across the country so that as many workers as possible have a chance to have a say, hear about the proposed settlement and vote.

Voting is only the first step. Support workers need a strong collective voice in this growing workforce to make sure what we have all achieved is respected and implemented as agreed. The best way to have your voices heard at work and in the sector is by joining together in your union.

See also: PSA launches equal pay case for mental health workers

19 Jun 2017

After being unfairly shut out of the equal pay care and support settlement, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim of their own.

Talofa, my name is Pollyanna Alo. I am a mental health support worker

On Monday 19 June, I helped file an equal pay case for all mental health support workers.

We ensure Kiwis gets the mental health support they need when they need it.

Last month, home support, disability support and aged care workers celebrated the $2 billion settlement of Kristine Bartlett’s case for equal pay. However, the Government refused to include 3,000 – 4,000 mental health support workers in the historic health and support worker equal pay deal.

Our job is performed predominantly by women. It's not easy work and it needs to be valued too.

From 1 July, we should be earning the same as other support workers.

We're already feeling the impact. Many support workers have left jobs they love because they are struggling on the minimum wage. There are gaps in rosters due to a shortage of staff. Other staff members have to work longer hours to cover the gaps which has an impact on our families. 

We need your help: Will you become an equal pay advocate?

Equal pay advocates are men and women who champion equal pay every day at work and at home.

As an equal pay advocate you will:

  • Talk to your workmates and ask them to join the union – the more members we have the stronger we are
  • Visit your local MP and tell them about your work and how you feel to be left out of the settlement
  • Talk with union delegates and organisers about planning activities for your area
  • Attend equal pay events and bring people with you.

Let's Stand Together to get equal pay for mental health support workers.

It’s not equal if it’s not for everyone.