Category: Equal pay

E tū welcomes demise of National’s pay equity bill

E tū has welcomed the Government’s decision to scrap the former National Government’s pay equity bill.

E tū took the pay equity case, Bartlett v Terranova which ultimately led to the equal pay settlement for 55,000 care and support workers.

The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill passed its first reading in August by just one vote and was opposed by most political parties.

E tū’s Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor says women rallied in their thousands against the bill which would have increased the obstacles faced by women seeking equal pay.

“Had this bill proceeded, these women would have been forced into a long process of identifying comparators and proving merit,” says Yvette.

“We were given a strong commitment on the campaign trail that the bill would be scrapped and we’re delighted that has been honoured.”

Yvette says any new legislation needs to respect the Court of Appeal judgement in the case of Bartlett v Terranova as well as the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on pay equity.

Care worker, Kristine Bartlett who took the case says the equal pay settlement wouldn’t have happened if the bill had survived in its current form.

“It’s great news,” says Kristine.

“That bill was going to affect so many other low-paid women in low-paid industries which was totally unfair. We fought hard for five years to get what we deserve and then we get a bill that would make it so much harder for everyone else.

“I’m so glad it’s gone and we look forward to a replacement that makes it easier for women to gain pay equity,” she says.

E tū’s submission on the bill supports retaining the Equal Pay Act 1972 with changes to accommodate the Court of Appeal judgement as well as the Joint Working Group recommendations.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

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

Mental health workers hopeful new Government signals equal pay deal

Mental health support workers are hopeful the Labour-led Government will finally include them in the equal pay settlement.

The settlement only applies to aged care, disability, and home support workers after negotiators for the previous government refused to include support workers in mental health.

E tū’s Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor says the situation is very unfair, but hopes are high they will finally be included.

“Jacinda made a commitment at an equal pay rally during the election campaign to equal pay for these workers and we’re looking forward to that coming to fruition really soon,” says Yvette.

Yvette says talks are already underway with health officials and looking “very positive”.

“We don’t believe the new coalition Government will throw up any barriers to this,” she says.

E tū member and mental health support worker, Sandra Rawenata says she and her colleagues are “rapt” about the new Government which has stoked hopes of a settlement.

“As soon as the Government was announced my friends and I were all over Facebook. It means a pay rise, it means we can feed our families, help our families. It means a lot of happy people,” says Sandra.

“We’re feeling hopeful out here. We’re expecting the Government to stand by what they told us at the equal pay rally and that we will be fairly paid just like our comrades in disability and aged care.”

Sandra says a settlement is crucial to stemming the loss of mental health support workers to other, better-paid care and support work.

ENDS.

For more information, contact:

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

Sandra Rawenata E tū delegate ph. 027 351 4285

 

 

E tū welcomes Green Party’s pay equity policy

E tū has welcomed the Green Party’s commitment to pay equity for women.

The party’s pay equity policy promises pay equity legislation which includes the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity principles. It would also require greater pay transparency by companies, so people know what men and women in the same workplace are paid.

E tū Industry Coordinator, Jill Ovens says the pay equity policies of both Labour and the Greens recognise the integrity of the court rulings in the case of Kristine Bartlett vs Terranova, as well as the Joint Working Group principles.

“We applaud the fact that this begins to recover the ground that’s been lost under a government which has fought against equal pay,” says Jill.

“In the dying days of the current parliament, the Government introduced a bill that would slam the door on hundreds of thousands of women and their hopes of equal pay. Both Labour and the Greens have promised to put this right, which we absolutely support,” she says.

Jill says the union also supports transparency on pay.

“Knowing what men and women earn quickly reveals any pay gap.  This is essential to ending the traditional gap in pay between men and women doing the same or comparable work.”

E tū Women’s Committee Convenor, Marianne Bishop says under the current bill, care and support workers would have struggled to achieve their historic pay equity settlement.

“I think it’s great because obviously the new bill that National put forward, I don’t feel would have helped us get that settlement,” says Marianne.

“It’s good that parties are all looking at this as an election issue.  People need to remember that when they cast their vote, and vote to support those parties which put forward good pay equity policies.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Jill Ovens E tū Industry Coordinator, Public and Commercial, ph. 027 446 4966

Marianne Bishop E tū Women’s Committee Convenor, ph. 021 257 4146.

E tū embraces Equal Pay Week as mental health workers pursue equal pay

E tū is urging women to embrace Equal Pay Week, as it focusses on winning an Equal Pay deal for mental health support workers.

These workers were left out of the Equal Pay Settlement after the government refused to include them.

Mental Health support worker, Sandra Rawenata is one of those workers.

“It’s unfair. We do pretty much the same work but we’re not paid the same,” says Sandra.

“We’re very supportive of what’s happened for our colleagues in other care and support jobs.

“We’re part of the team that helped them get there, we attended the rallies, so we’re very happy for them.  Now it’s time to come together and get our share.”

Sandra will be among the speakers at the event in Auckland tomorrow to launch Equal Pay week, 12 August – 20 August.

“We’ve had a great win for care and support workers.  But the government wants to change the law to ensure no one else wins Equal Pay,” says Yvette Taylor, E tū’s Equal Pay Coordinator.

“If this bill passes, it means back to the beginning for mental health workers and huge hurdles for other women battling for Equal Pay,” she says.

She says E tū will be participating in the events of Equal Pay week to drive home the message that women want Equal Pay and won’t settle for less.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

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

Equal Pay update: Equal pay deal for Vocational workers & pay equity claim for mental health support workers

Vocational Disability Support Workers

Yesterday, (Monday 3 July) the PSA and E tū met with the Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki to extend the pay equity settlement to vocational disability support workers.

The Government negotiators and the unions have reached agreement on the text of the settlement and its coverage.

The next steps will include agreement from the appropriate cabinet ministers and the signing of the agreement next week pending ratification.

There will be a short ratification process, although as most vocational support workers have already ratified the agreement and legislation is required, it will be deemed to be ratified from 18 July.

We will notify you of the details of the ratification meeting process shortly.

It is agreed that the new rates will be back paid from 1 July 2017.

Community mental health support workers

E tū and the PSA have filed a pay equity claim in the Employment Relations Authority on behalf of community mental health support workers.

The current situation is causing a major imbalance and will affect the ability for the sector to attract mental health support workers.

The first day of negotiations between the Unions, Ministry of Health and sector representatives is this Thursday 6th July.

Please check your email for updates, and for information of union meetings to talk about the case. In the meantime, talk to your workmates about signing up to the union and supporting this campaign.

Please call Union Support 0800 1 UNION if you would like further information about Equal Pay and what it means for you.

Historic Equal Pay Settlement comes into force midnight

From midnight, tonight (1 July) the celebrations will begin in earnest as the reality of their big pay rise sinks in for 55,000 care and support workers in aged care, disability services and home support.

These are workers included in the historic Equal Pay Settlement which has resulted in one of the biggest increases in pay for any group of workers in New Zealand history.

Kristine Bartlett, who took the Equal Pay case which resulted in this Settlement, says many of her co-workers are overjoyed while for others the reality has yet to sink in.

“There will be so many happy people. When they finally get the first two weeks of their new pay, they’ll see the difference it makes and can actually do a little bit of celebrating,” says Kristine.

“They’ll be looking at their pay slips and trying to believe that after all these years they’ve finally been rewarded for the hard work they do, and they deserve this so, so much. I’m so happy for them and I’m so happy the union stepped up and made this happen.

“For me, it really hasn’t sunk in and I’ll believe it when I see it in my bank account. Then I can say it has happened, because I’m still in a dream and I’ve been in a dream for quite some time,” she says.

“We’re very pleased that this fantastic deal worth $2.06 billion is going to deliver this pay increase for these 55,000 workers,” says E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall.

“We will be celebrating across the country.”

Meanwhile, John says work continues to win the same deal for community disability support workers, funded by the Ministry of Social Development, and “we are fast reaching a settlement on that”, says John.

Mental health support workers aren’t covered either with a pay equity claim lodged on their behalf with the Employment Relations Authority earlier this month.

“These were two groups which were left out initially but they need to be included,” says John.

 

ENDS

For more information, contact:

John Ryall E tū Assistant National Secretary ph. 027 520 1380