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Government delivers election promise


Government delivers election promise on pay settlement for mental health and addictions support workers

After a year of uncertainty, community mental health and addictions service providers congratulate the Government on agreeing to bring wage rates for support workers in line with those in the aged care, disability and home and community care sector.

“Since the Terranova settlement covering the other support workers, we’ve been at the table with the Ministry of Health, DHBs and unions working to make this happen for our workforce,” states Naomi Cowan, Chairperson of Platform Trust. “We’re relieved and delighted that we have now agreed a settlement.”

Throughout the election last year, the Labour party assured mental health and addictions support workers that, if in Government, they would work to include them in the settlement that was made in April 2017 for the aged care, disability and home and community care support workers. The Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement, known as the Terranova settlement, explicitly excluded mental health support workers, which resulted in staff movement away from community mental health and addictions services into better paid positions in the other sectors.

“Support workers in our mental health and addictions services are highly skilled and competent people,” says Marion Blake, CEO of Platform Trust. “They deserve to be paid adequately for the amazing work they do in our communities every day. Service providers have been backing this process all the way, and we look forward to ensuring that support workers in community mental health and addictions services can continue to be employed and properly paid through sustainable funding of services by government funders.”

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 vital to meet the needs of New Zealanders experiencing mental health and addictions issues.

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.

Supporting documents:
Fast Track (Platform Trust and Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, 2017): https://www.platform.org.nz/our-work/FastTrack

More than Numbers (Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, 2015): https://www.tepou.co.nz/initiatives/more-thannumbers-workforce-stocktake/19

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