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Historic pay equity agreement

Vocational and disability support workers at MSD and Oranga Tamariki part of historic pay equity agreement

The Public Service Association and E tū are pleased to confirm that almost 1700 vocational and disability support workers funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki will be included in the historic Equal Pay settlement for care and support workers that took effect on 1 July.

The recent care and support settlement, which achieved pay equity for 55,000 workers in aged and disability residential care and home and community support services, will be implemented for vocational disability support workers at MSD/OT in early August and will include back pay to the original settlement’s commencement date of 1 July 2017. The Government has approved $55.8 million of funding over five years to include these workers in the historic deal.

"Pay equity for care and support workers is changing peoples’ lives already, and we’re hearing plenty of stories from our members about how these pay rises have helped them and their families to prosper after years of being underappreciated," says Kerry Davies, PSA acting national secretary.

"Care and support workers have been consistently underpaid because they work in a traditionally female-dominated industry, and this is true for contracted vocational disability support workers as well - our unions advocated tirelessly for their inclusion in this settlement."

John Ryall, assistant national secretary of E tū, says the inclusion of vocational disability workers is another big step towards sorting out gender-based pay discrimination in the care and support sector, but there is still work to do.

"The next cab off the rank will be mental health support workers. E tū and the PSA have lodged an Equal Pay claim with the Employment Relations Authority for mental health support workers, whose low pay is the result of the same discrimination the rest of the care sector faces," says Mr Ryall.

"We are pleased with the outcome today for vocational disability workers, and we are celebrating the momentum we have for addressing the undervaluing of female-dominated jobs across the workforce."


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