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On commitment to pay equity for support workers

Health Minister David Clark has today announced that Cabinet has given its approval for the Government to formally negotiate a pay equity settlement with employers and unions for mental health and addictions support workers. It is expected that this settlement process will result in a similar deal to that confirmed in last year’s settlement for the aged care, disability and home and community sectors.

“We are pleased that the Government is demonstrating that it values our workforce as much as we do,” says Naomi Cowan, Chairperson of Platform Trust. “This has been a difficult time for employers who have wanted to reassure our highly skilled employees that they deserve to be paid adequately for their work, like their colleagues in the aged care, disability and home and community sectors.”

Marion Blake, CEO of Platform Trust agrees. “The Government has made clear that improving the state of mental health and addictions support is a priority for them. This settlement will help to ensure that a quality workforce, that is paid adequately and consistently across the wider sector, is available to support New Zealanders when they experience mental health or addictions issues.”

The settlement announcement follows the Prime Minister and Health Minister’s recent announcement of a mental health and addictions inquiry that is due to deliver its findings by October of this year. The support workforce is currently the largest workforce group delivering mental health and addictions support services. It is projected that growth of this workforce will be increasingly vital to meet the needs of New Zealanders.

Platform Trust is the national network of community organisations that support New Zealanders by providing a wide range of mental health and addiction services and creating a positive place for people experiencing mental health and addiction issues to live and work.

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