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ANZASW calls for social worker pay equity

ANZASW calls for social worker pay equity on Aotearoa New Zealand Social Workers’ Day

Wednesday 22 September is Aotearoa New Zealand Social Workers’ Day. ANZASW is celebrating social workers throughout the country for the tireless work they do to better Aotearoa. Social workers work throughout the motu in a variety of settings and roles, from community social workers working with tamariki and whānau, to oncology social workers working with patients in palliative care.

ANZASW acknowledges and thanks all the social workers throughout the country for your mahi.

Sharyn Roberts, President of ANZASW, says “Social Workers are passionate and courageous professionals who work with complexity, contending with issues of social and economic inequality, scarcity of resources and with increasing public scrutiny and accountability. And despite these challenges, Social Workers nationally and globally provide hope and a reason to be optimistic. They are committed to supporting effective positive changes even when facing difficult, complex and often volatile situations.”

On Social Workers Day, ANZASW is calling for the community and iwi social workers pay equity claim to be settled. Social workers in iwi and community organisations earn on average $25,000 (equivalent to approximately 34%) a year less than those working in government agencies, despite having the same qualifications and skills, and often working with the same children, rangatahi, families, and whānau. The pay gap stems from historic underfunding of the community social services sector.

The Public Service Association has lodged a pay equity claim against five representative employers of social workers in order to address the pay equity gap for community and iwi social workers.

ANZASW has partnered with the Social Service Provider Association, SociaLink, and the Public Service Association in order to raise awareness about the significant pay gap. This gap is making it hard to attract and retain social workers in non-government and iwi organisations, and compromising services to the children, rangatahi, families, whānau and communities around the motu who they serve.

ANZASW Kaiwhakahaere Chief Executive Braden Clark said, “The social work profession is overrepresented by women who tirelessly work to better Aotearoa New Zealand. It is entirely unfair that community and iwi social workers are paid significantly less than male dominated industries and their colleagues, who do equivalent work, in statutory organisations.

Action is needed to remedy the significant pay gap between social sector workers in community and iwi organisations and those in government, because of the detrimental impact the pay gap is having. The Government needs to step up to resolve the pay gap with fair funding for community and iwi social services. Given these organisations and the services they provide are largely government funded, addressing the pay gap relies on government making funding available.


ABOUT ANZASW: ANZASW is the professional association for social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand. We have approximately 3,600 social work members and advocate on behalf of the social work profession.

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