The avalanche of “fair pay” claims is well underway

via ODT

Thousands of community mental health workers are taking legal action to try and win pay parity with their colleagues in the disability and aged care sectors.

From 1 July, care and support workers in aged care, disability and home support will receive big pay rises as a result of the historic Care and Support Worker Pay Equity Settlement.

But the thousands of carers who work in mental health will get nothing.

Don’t fear, the Unions are here

Today, two of the country’s largest unions – E Tū and the Public Service Association – will lodge an equal pay claim with the Employment Relations Authority.

E Tū assistant national secretary John Ryall said this was the second group left out of the historic settlement and similar to the case of a group of workers employed in vocational services with the Ministry of Social Development, which the union is also negotiating.

Mr Ryall said the government needed to support this claim and move swiftly to avoid the impending crisis.

“If the authority decides that, then the government as the funder of the sector needs to either pay the money or watch these places shut.

“We think the job these people do is so important, that it’s important the government gets involved in it,” he said.

Ms Alo said reducing the number of mental health workers would place more stress on district health boards, which were already struggling.

“I did a stint at the [Counties Manukau] DHB for six months in the crisis team as a community support person and they had constant crisis every single day and there wasn’t enough staff to cover it.

I’m not saying that these people aren’t earning their wages, nor that they don’t deserve more for the kind of work they are being asked to do.   I’m just highlighting that my prediction of the Care and Support Worker Pay Equity Settlement going to affect all corners of the sector is coming to pass.

 

– RNZ

 


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