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No Plan For Ending Disability Support Sector Pay Equity Stalemate In Government’s 100-day Plan

Disabled people and providers who support them are deeply concerned, with no end in sight to stalled Pay Equity talks or recognition in the new Government’s 100-day plan, said New Zealand Disability Support Network CEO Peter Reynolds.

The Pay Equity talks, which will cover 65,000 care and support workers across four sectors, have been stalled since September because Cabinet must approve contingency funding for employers to negotiate a settlement.

“Legislation from 2017 covering care and support worker Pay Equity wage rates expires in a month. The new Government’s lack of commitment to funding the Pay Equity deal gives those workers and the disabled people they serve no certainty going into Christmas.”

“Our workers deserve fair pay, and providers need the Government to front up with the funding to deliver it. NZDSN and other groups have written to the new government pleading for them to remove the roadblocks and come through with the money.”

“If the Government doesn’t keep its end of the bargain, it will be up to the courts to make pay equity rulings. The likely knock-on effects are that providers won’t have the money to deliver and end up shutting down or scaling back services. Workers will start leaving the sector for better pay, leaving the disabled New Zealanders they support high and dry.”

“Nicola Willis and Penny Simmonds were outspoken advocates for Pay Equity in opposition. Will they be as good as their word as Ministers and deliver the pay equity funding care and support workers need?” said Peter Reynolds.

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