Care Workers To Rally Across Aotearoa For Pay Equity

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Joint release from E tū, PSA, and NZNO

Care and support workers up and down the country will be rallying on Monday 1 July, calling on the Government to fully fund a pay equity settlement.

The three care and support unions, E tū, PSA, and NZNO, have organised public rallies in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, and Invercargill.

The rallies are the next step in a long campaign for the workers’ pay equity claim, with recent developments including filing with the Employment Relations Authority.

E tū residential aged care worker, Marianne Bishop, says the Government must front up.

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“We have been waiting far too long for a decent pay equity settlement,” Marianne says.

“The care and support workforce is an essential part of our health system and our wider communities. We do these jobs because we love the work and we want to do the best we can.

“We are really worried about the future of the sector if there isn’t a proper settlement really soon. We can’t attract and retain workers if they know they’re only going to be paid a pittance. We have an ageing workforce and an ageing population – unless we fix this now, it’s a recipe for disaster.

“There’s a simple solution. The Government must front up and fund a proper settlement. If they have $2.9 billion for landlords, I can’t understand why they won’t hurry up and pay us what we are worth.”

PSA disability support worker Pinky Kumawat says the effects of low pay take a real toll on the workforce.

“Support workers are working two or even three jobs to get by. The constant grind takes a toll on our wellbeing and family lives.”

“Pay equity would mean being able to think about taking a break, even a one-day holiday. It would motivate more people to do this work and we could help more people. Why would the Government hold back when the solution is right there?”

NZNO national delegate for aged care Marita Ansin-Johnson says workers deserve much better recognition for their roles.

“I am proud to work in this area of health because it gives me great satisfaction that I am giving the highest care possible to our best link to the past.

“The Government has demonstrated even this week with cancer treatment funding that it does have the potential to ease the crisis in aged care.

“If we want a society in which humanity is important and where there is love and compassion towards each other then we need to take a close look at who we care for and how we care for them. We need more people employed in aged care, people who will care for our kaumātua.”

Care and support roles include people working in disability support, aged residential care, home support, and mental health and addictions support.

Nationwide rallies 1 July 2024

Auckland: 2pm at Victoria Park, Auckland CBD.

Hamilton: 1:30pm meet at PSA office – 489 Anglesea street.

New Plymouth: 3pm at the new E tū office: 139 Powderham street, New Plymouth Central.

Palmerston North: 12pm at The Square/Te Marae o Hine (next to The Verdict cafe).

Wellington: 1:30pm at Heretaunga Boating Club, 138 The Esplanade, Petone.

Nelson: 1:30pm meet at Nelson City Council – 110 Trafalgar Street.

Christchurch: 1:30pm at Hornby Club, 17 Carmen Road, Hornby.

Timaru: 1:30pm – corner of Wai-Iti Road and Evans Street.

Dunedin: 12pm outside Median Mall, 285 George Street.

Invercargill: 1:45pm meet at E tū office, 33 Don street.

1 COMMENT

  1. For some of the hardest jobs in the country, compared to the likes of politicians, care workers are paid insultingly.
    I’d love to see politicians take on a care worker’s job for a week. It would kill them.

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