Pay equity for mental health and addiction workers

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says an estimated 3,800 mental health and addiction workers will soon receive the pay they deserve.

Dr Clark met yesterday with unions and employers to confirm the Government has agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Pay Equity Settlement to mental health and addiction support workers.

“Today, we are correcting a problem created by the previous Government, which failed to make the settlement broad enough to include mental health and addiction workers. We are doing the right thing by these workers,” says Dr Clark.

“Paying our mental health and addiction workers what they deserve will also help ensure we have a robust workforce to look after people needing their care.”

The Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act came in to force on 1 July 2017 giving 55,000 care and support workers in aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services a pay rise of between 15 and 50 per cent.

A claim was lodged with the Employment Relations Authority by PSA and E tū, seeking that mental health and addiction support workers be paid the same increased wage rates.

 The Ministry of Health will now begin formal negotiations with unions and employers.

“It is in everyone’s interests to ensure these vital workers are paid fairly for the important work they do in our communities,” says Dr Clark.

”I thank the support workers, unions and providers for their patience and look forward to a quick and satisfactory conclusion to the negotiations.”