Te Whatu Ora is delaying the urgent pay equity claim for care and support workers by insisting on an extra ad hoc review. The last-minute demand is an excuse to interrupt the process and reduce the pay for our sector’s most vulnerable workers.
Te Whatu Ora is seeking to overturn the findings made by investigations into gender-based undervaluation, under the Equal Pay Act.
The peak bodies that represent the employers in the claim, the Home and Community Health Association, Aged Care Association, New Zealand Disability Support Network and Atamira Platform are urging Te Whatu Ora to stop wasting time with its review and trust the work that has been done using methods that have been developed over several years by the Public Service Commission.
“Unions and employers have been working since 1 July 2022 to see pay equity for 65,000 workers, including people working in aged residential care, disability support, home and community support and mental health and addictions,” explains Aged Care Association CE Katherine Rich.
“Not liking the result of a pay equity process is not a reason to stop the process. It seems to us that Te Whatu Ora, despite all the evidence to the contrary, just don’t want to believe how underpaid the care and support workforce is,” says Home and Community Health Association CE Carmela Petagna, “They are turning their back on support workers and the hundreds of thousands of people they care for.”
CE of Atamira Platform Trust Memo Musa says, “All the parties to the pay equity claim are ready to negotiate the details of how to address the pay gaps. It is so disappointing that Te Whatu Ora is holding up the process and allowing this group of workers to fall further and further behind in terms of fair pay.”
“Pay equity is what these workers deserve. We are seeking an urgent commitment from government to honour the process it worked so hard to set up, to disallow Te Whatu Ora’s attempts to overturn the results, and to resource the roll out of pay equity to the whole care and support workforce,” says Kia Tu Tahi Tatou NZDSN CE Peter Reynolds.