Community Support

CSS Industry Council, 2023

Community support is one of the fastest growing industries in E tū with more than 11,000 members and counting.

Our members work in sectors including:

  • Aged care
  • Homecare support
  • Disability support
  • Mental health
  • Other social services

Sector snapshot

Aged care

Around 6,000 E tū members work in residential aged care and home support. Residential carers work in retirement villages, rest homes, and hospitals to ensure that some of society’s most vulnerable are happy, comfortable, and well looked after.

Homecare support

Homecare support workers do a similar job to aged care workers, but instead, they go from home to home which means they do not have a traditional workplace like other workers in the sector.

While the equal pay victory in 2017 was a historic victory for care and support workers, we have had plenty of other wins for those specifically in home support work, including in-between travel time payments and guaranteed hours.

Disability support

Disability support workers are some of the unsung heroes of our community sector and play the vital role of helping people with disabilities live comfortably and reach their full potential. E tū members in disability support work for large employers such as IDEA Services and CCS Disability Action, as well as smaller local and community-based providers.

Disability support workers were also included in the equal pay settlement as a recognition of the gender-based pay discrimination in the sector.

As well as this, E tū won sleepover payments for workers. Before this, many workers were earning well below the minimum wage for the overnight hours they had to work.

Mental health and other social services

There is a huge demand for mental health services in New Zealand, and government funding isn’t keeping up. This is a complex issue. However, the major issue for workers is the low pay and poor conditions.

Although mental health workers do a similar job to aged care and disability support workers, they were not included in the equal pay settlement and so low pay continues to plague the sector.

E tū has now taken an equal pay case on the behalf of mental health workers to fix this – our members deserve it. Much better pay is needed in the sector not just to recognise the hard work of mental health professionals but also to ensure the services can attract workers and maintain high quality services.

Our campaigns

While community support is a growing industry in New Zealand, gender-based pay discrimination has kept wages far too low.

E tū’s equal pay case and historic Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement in 2017 changed the lives of care and support workers forever. However, we are now fighting to raise wages once again, as they have slipped behind inflation.

CSS Industry Council

E tū has six Industry Councils, including CSS, each of which serves a two-year term.

The councils are made up of E tū delegates who are appointed by the E tū National Executive following expressions of interest from delegates nationwide.

The council’s members represent their given industry on their specific Industry Council.
Industry Councils elect a convenor, who sits on the National Executive.

Two representatives from the Industry Council (including the convenor) attend the E tū Biennial Conference – the highest decision-making body in the union.