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Care And Support Workers Call "Time’s Up", & Take Long-overdue Pay Equity Claim To The ERA

Unions for care and support workers will take their long-overdue pay equity claim to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) in Wellington on Thursday (13 June).

Almost two years have passed since the claim was initiated with 15 employers and no settlement has been reached. This claim could have implications for 65,000 care and support workers.

Filing an application is a significant escalation after years of stalled progress. The application will ask the ERA to make a determination on what the pay equity rates should be.

The unions - the Public Service Association, E tū, and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation - have worked with employers and Government in good faith for two years to reach a settlement. But people working in disability, home, and mental health support workers, and aged care cannot wait any longer and are calling "time’s up!"

The claim directly covers 17,500 workers at 15 employers and has implications for a further 47,500 care and support workers and their employers - many of whom are covered by companion pay equity claims.

Unions continue to implore the Government to fully fund a fair pay equity settlement to keep care and support services running, just as they have done before.

A brief background on the pay equity claim, process, and implications of going to ERA is below.

What: Union delegates and officials will file an application for fixing with the Employment Relations Authority.

Where: Meet at Post Office Square, Wellington Central

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When: 2pm - 2:30pm, Thursday June 13th

How: Care and support workers will deliver short speeches before walking to the ERA to file the application.

Union officials and delegates from PSA, E tū, and NZNO will be available for comment. Filming and photography are welcome at Post Office Square.

Background:

The claim being filed with the ERA covers 17,500 care and support workers at 15 employers. It was initiated on 1 July 2022, and follows the legacy of the historic 2017 settlement - delivered by the last National-led Government - championed by Lower Hutt aged care worker Kristine Bartlett together with the unions.

The unions have provided extensive evidence that Aotearoa’s disability, home, and mental health support workers, and aged care workers, are once again being significantly underpaid because of gender-based discrimination.

Thursday’s application to the ERA asks they make a determination on what fair pay rates are for people doing this work free from that discrimination. No pay equity claims to date have gone through this process in its entirety.

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