Historic pay equity deal for care workers in New Zealand

19 April 2017
Following two years of negotiations, the Government announced on 18 April the details of an historic pay deal that will lead to significant pay increases for workers in aged residential care, home support, and disability services. This will help to address the pay inequity in the predominantly female aged care sector in New Zealand.

“This is a huge step forward for low paid workers in New Zealand – whether they’re men or women,” says Erin Polaczuk, National Secretary of the New Zealand Public Service Association (NZPSA), a PSI affiliate.

This deal will lead to significant pay increases from July for workers in aged residential care, home support, and disability services, all state-funded service sectors with low pay rates and predominantly female employees. This settlement will benefit 55,000 workers that will receive a pay rise between $4 - $7 an hour.

The pay increase will cost the Government more than $2 billion over the next four years. For the workers, it won't be backdated but will take immediate effect on 1st July. 

The settlement comes after a pay equity claim brought by E Tu (previously the Service and Food Workers Union) on behalf of care worker Kristine Bartlett against her employer TerraNova.

This deal is expected to have a flow-on effect to other industries, and the Government hoped it would encourage businesses to make greater moves in addressing the overall gender pay gap in New Zealand.

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