Category: Community Support

$21,000 ERA win for Gateway Trust member

 

E tū has welcomed a decision by the Employment Relations Authority that the sacking of its member, Caro McFadden by Nelson’s Gateway Trust was unjustified.

The Authority awarded Caro a total of $21,594.00 – including $6594.49 for lost wages and holiday pay, as well as $15,000 for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to her feelings.

Gateway Trust provides in-house and out-reach mental health services for people across the upper South Island.

Caro’s job was disestablished following a service restructure and she failed to secure one of three new managerial positions.

She was subsequently dismissed during a period when she was invited to consider a redeployment offer and whilst she was off sick with a doctor’s certificate for stress related to the imminent loss of her job.

The Authority found Caro had been unjustifiably dismissed.

In its ruling it said no fair and reasonable employer would have dismissed her in circumstances where they failed to meet her face to face to discuss her options once she recovered from her illness and learned of her decision in relation to alternative work.

“E tū took this case on behalf of our member, Caro McFadden after her unfair treatment by the Gateway Trust and we are delighted that the decision to challenge her dismissal has been vindicated by the Authority’s ruling.  Caro deserves this win,” says Ria Holmes, E tū organiser in Nelson.

In a statement, Caro says the judgement has gone in her favour and she is happy with the outcome.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Ria Holmes E tū organiser ph. 027 590 0060

 

 

 

 

Equal Pay Celebration Day for support workers

E tū care and support members are celebrating a second substantial pay rise today.

The increase comes a year after the equal pay settlement which followed the historic settlement of the court case taken by E tū and aged care member, Kristine Bartlett.

The settlement includes a series of annual pay rises until 2021, with the next increase on 1 July this year.

“Our members have enjoyed the benefits of last year’s equal pay increase and they will be celebrating this one as well,” says Yvette Taylor, E tū Campaign Lead Organiser.

“It’s another step towards care givers really being valued. The higher pay rates have made a big difference to our members with many finally able to take a holiday, visit their dentist, and pay the bills.

“This latest increase will deliver even more of these benefits, so it’s cause for celebration,” she says.

Wairarapa aged care worker, Simone O’Connor says she’s been reminding her workmates about the increase which for some has come as a pleasant surprise.

“Many had forgotten they were due another pay rise. The year has gone so quickly! But it’s great. We’re on the right path and we’re moving ahead – more money means a better life,” says Simone.

Home support delegate, Shannon Crowley says a year on, the settlement has changed her life, allowing simple pleasures like taking her son to the movies, and planning her first holiday in years.

“I haven’t stressed out about money so much because I just feel more cushioned – just less stressed and cornered,” she says.

“And there’s a lot of clients who really are happy for us. They all say to us, ‘It’s about time, love!’, which is great.”

Meanwhile, Yvette says E tū and its delegates are getting the word out to members to check their pay, and that they are getting the training that is an entitlement included in the settlement.

“Qualifications mean higher pay, but it’s also about ensuring the best quality care for the people our members look after,” she says.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Yvette Taylor E tū Campaign Lead Organiser ph. 027 431 8486

To speak to Shannon or Simone, contact: Karen Gregory-Hunt, ph. 022 269 1170.

 

Equal pay for mental health support workers

Mental health and addiction support workers have been rewarded for their patience – with their long fight for equal pay finally over.

The Government has confirmed the care and support settlement will be extended to these workers.

An estimated 5000 workers will get a pay rise, backdated to 1 July 2017, the date of the original $2 billion settlement.

“Our members in mental health and addiction support were unfairly left out of the original settlement,” PSA Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

“The mental health and addiction support sector urgently needs more staff, and this should help to recruit and retain skilled and dedicated workers.

“The Labour-led Government has made good on its commitment to work with unions and employers to deliver where the National Government failed.

“Our members stood together and now they’re getting what they deserve.”

PSA Mental Health Committee co-convenor Pollyanna Alo says mental health and addiction support workers like her will feel valued for the work they do.

“This means everything to me,” she says.

“Now support workers throughout New Zealand are able to feed their families, put petrol in the car and just enjoy a little bit of luxury without a stranglehold on their finances.”

E tū Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor says the deal is a promise kept by the new Government.

“We know from speaking to our members in this sector that many earn too little to live decently. This will be a relief, and a recognition of the vital work they do in our communities.

“The Government has made mental health a priority and valuing these workers is crucial to the success of these services.”

Ratification meetings for all mental health and addictions support workers will now be held around New Zealand so workers can vote on the settlement.

“We would urge everyone to attend to hear about and vote on this historic offer,” Ms Taylor and Ms Davies say.

For further information, contact:

Yvette Taylor Equal Pay Coordinator E tū ph. 027 431 8486

 

E tū support for NZEI Pay Equity Day of Action

E tū support for NZEI Pay Equity Day of Action

E tū says the equal pay settlement for care and support workers made a huge difference to the lives of these members and all women deserve pay equity.

E tū members are among the speakers at rallies tomorrow, organised by the NZEI in support of pay equity for women in education.

E tū’s Women’s Committee Convenor and aged care worker, Marianne Bishop, who will be speaking in Wellington says women must stand together if they are to win pay equity for all.

“The support of other unions and community groups was crucial in helping us secure our settlement. Now it’s our turn to stand in support of pay justice for all women,” says Marianne.

“I raised two sons on very low wages and it was a real struggle. The settlement made a huge difference. I’ve been able to pay off some debts, and for the first time in 6 years, I can afford a dentist, and I can see the doctor when I need to,” she says.

“Women need to be valued and paid a fair wage for the work they do.  It is not right to pay them a low wage because the work they do is deemed to be women’s work.”

Auckland home support worker, Shannon Crowley who will speak in Auckland saw her pay lift by $4.00 an hour, thanks to the settlement.

She says it’s time women in education received the same recognition.

“Things have to change for early childhood teachers and school support staff. They need an hourly rate that says they are valued. It happened for us and it’s time to stand side by side to make this happen for them,” says Shannon.

E tū’s Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor says the union is proud to support women working in education.

“These workers are undervalued for the highly skilled work they do,” she says.

“It’s time for the Government to step up and deliver for them, just as the equal pay settlement has delivered for care and support members.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Yvette Taylor E tū Equal Pay Coordinator ph. 027 431 8486.

 

 

IDEA agreement ratified!

Support workers at IDEA have voted by a large a majority to ratify their new collective. The deal delivers a 5% pay raise for admin members and a 90 day deadline to make progress on restoring relativities around senior roles, as well as finding a better way to manage service reviews found strong support.

The relativities and service review working parties are due to report back by 1 June and if progress is made we will ‘open’ the collective and incorporate their work.

If progress is not made then at the next bargaining (due in the spring) we will refocus our claims for weekend and other pay rises on top of the next equal pay step for support workers due 1 July.

At the same time, the Health and Safety working party will refocus its efforts to  establish a decent workers participation  process.

IDEA was forced to withdraw it’s claims to cut sick leave and stress leave but refused to discuss equal pay for admin staff.

The vote was 576 in favour and 77 against.

Equal pay deal for mental health support workers

The Council of Trade Unions, the Public Service Association and E tū welcome the Government’s commitment to equal pay for mental health and addiction support workers.

Health Minister Dr David Clark says his ministry will now begin formal negotiations with unions, providers and District Health Boards.

An estimated 3800 working people were excluded from last year’s care and support settlement after the National government refused to include them in negotiations.

“This is good news for working people who were left out of last year’s landmark care and support settlement,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff says.

“When government, ministries and unions work together, great outcomes can be achieved – and we look forward to fruitful negotiations.”

Unions expect these negotiations to occur with urgency, to extend the full terms of the care and support settlement to people working in mental health and addiction support.

“Our members in mental health and addiction support will be encouraged by today’s announcement,” PSA Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

“This proves to them that the work they do is valued – and so are the vulnerable people who they support every day.”

Unions say many workers in mental health and addiction support had considered moving to other types of care and support work where pay rates have increased after the settlement.

“We hope all the parties can work together to get this settlement in place for mental health and addiction support workers,” E tū Assistant National Secretary John Ryall says.

“The care and support settlement showed what a difference equal pay can make to the lives of these workers – but it’s not equal if it’s not for everyone.”

ENDS

For more information contact:

Jessica Williams | Media Advisor, PSA

Email: jessica.williams@psa.org.nz, Tel: +64 (0)4 816 5028, Mobile: +64 (0)27 600 5498

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IDEA ratification meetings 2018

Dear IDEA support workers and admin members,

Over the next few weeks union members are invited to attend a series of ratification meetings to receive and vote on the results of the current bargaining for a new collective.

For most members pay has already been sorted through the magnificent victory of the July 2017 equal pay settlement.  But there is more to work than the hourly rate and this year we faced real pressure from IDEA to cut existing right such as sick leave and access to stress leave.

At the same time, we have also pressed IDEA to recognise the need to make sure staff are not disadvantaged because of service reviews and to work with us to restore the margins for staff with ‘responsibility’ roles.

Your bargaining team will be reporting in detail on the results and member rostered to work at the time of their meeting will be paid to attend and vote on the offer.

Click here for the list of meetings which will be updated on the E tū website as details are finalised.  Do take the time to attend our meeting and share your voice and your vote!

For more information contact E tū union support on 0800 1 86466 and if we don’t already have your cell number let us know so we can send you text updates.

Thanks!

IDEA Services update: Good things take time

Good things take time. 

In the case of sleepovers, it took seven years. The recent equal pay settlement took five years and last year’s pay talks started in October 16 and finished in July 17. So, while we shouldn’t be surprised that the 2017 collective bargaining at IDEA will carry on into 2018.

Back in September members voted on a two-tier process with the focus on a short-term agreement through till May 2018.  We’ve called that Plan A.  Plan B was to table a wider set of goals with a greater focus on weekend and overtime pay – but only if Plan A didn’t work.

Our goal in both plans has been to work out a fairer result for member in four key project groups:

  1. The impact of service reviews on job security and guaranteed hours
  2. Restoring the margins (relativities) for senior staff now paid the same as others.
  3. Fixing pay equity and relativities for our admin members
  4. An agreed worker participation process.

Despite three days of formal bargaining IDEA has not agreed to our proposals and is insisting any new agreement running till October 2018.  IDEA has rejected the union timetable for the project groups and has not (yet) committed to the terms of reference we suggested.

E tū are holding firm that there needs to clear union participation in both Service Reviews and Schedule Reviews with more fair and reasonable process around reviews, there is a real need to reduce stress and anxiety for members around the service reviews process.

Members have a right receive accurate and relevant information to be provided to the union and members so that members have real informed choice, and to ensure that IHC take every practical step to sure members hours are maintained or increase.

For our admin members the principles of equal pay are as relevant to their job as it was to support workers.

What’s very disappointing is that IDEA won’t even discuss the first step. Even their pay offer of 5% doesn’t restore the relativities to the pre-July position.

IDEA has made an ‘offer’ which fell well short of our claims. In a strange move they told us it was a ‘package’ available until December 4th, despite us explaining it was simply not possible to consult with 3000+ members with such short notice.

The good news IDEA does seem to have withdrawn its own claims to:

  • Cut sick leave for new staff
  • Cap sick leave for current staff
  • Limit stress leave
  • Reduce the 2 weeks notice require for schedule changes to just 24 hours.

Getting any employer to remove their ‘nasty’ claims is part of the bargaining dynamic, but it was disappointing to see IDEA roll out the same old claims that disrespect hard won rights.

Your bargaining team told IDEA we would NOT be recommending their offer and even if we wanted to the timeframes were just not practical. Instead we are going to ask IDEA to meet again before Christmas to try and reach a settlement that genuinely respects the issues staff have raised.

We are still waiting for IDEA to agree to meet.

If we make progress, we’ll update you in the New year. If not then we will start over with Plan B, or C, or D and keep pushing till we get a deal that is fair for everyone. Whatever happens we will be holding paid membership meetings early next year and, as always, it makes a difference if you attend.

IF we make progress you get to decide if it’s enough.

If we don’t make progress, we need to get ready for action.

If you’d like to discuss the report talk to your local bargaining team member or Union Support on 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466).

IDEA bargaining update

Dear IDEA members,

IDEA Services Support and admin bargaining kicked off this week with two full days of negotiations.  In we September endorsed the push for full time jobs and a fairer process to deal with the challenge of service reviews.  Also high on the agenda is making sure staff are safe at work and sorting pay relativities for senior staff as well as equal pay for admin and supervisory staff. E tū delegates want a short term agreement to ensure any  changes are the right ones, but so far IDEA says it wants the full 12 months.

More talks are scheduled for November 13th with nationwide report back meetings due before Christmas.