26 May, 2016
E tū disappointed nothing in Budget to settle historic equal pay case
E tū says there is nothing in the Budget to settle care worker, Kristine Bartlett’s equal pay claim and finally lift pay rates for poorly paid care workers.
The battle has been won in court, after Kristine successfully sued for equal pay – paving the way for the Employment Court to set equal pay principles as well as a pay rate for Kristine.
Pay equity principles and a possible pay rate have been the subject of two working groups set up to consider both issues, which affect an estimated 50-thousand care workers.
E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall says the funding to pay a fair wage to these workers is cited as a specific fiscal risk in the Economic and Fiscal Update – “just as it was last year.”
Vote Health was allocated an extra $2.2 billion over four years in the Budget and John Ryall says it’s clear there are no plans to fund a pay-rise for care workers.
“It is irresponsible not to allocate any money to fund an equal pay settlement for care and support workers – especially given the government has set up a process for negotiating a settlement.
“DHBs need to begin planning to set aside funds to settle this case.”
Kristine’s case argued rest home workers were underpaid because they were mostly women, and comparable men’s work would be paid more.