The proposed settlement is a huge win and will make a real difference in valuing the work of care and support workers and the people they support. It is a significant step in addressing gender inequality in New Zealand.
It comes after 20 months of negotiations between sector unions, led by E tū, and the New Zealand Government to settle a landmark equal pay case that E tū took on behalf of caregiver and E tū member Kristine Bartlett. The case, lodged in 2012, went all the way to the Supreme Court, with the courts finding gender bias was the cause of Kristine’s low wages.
E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall says the offer once ratified will mean a “once in a lifetime pay rise which will end poverty wages for this mainly female workforce and set them on the path to a better life. We’re delighted today’s proposed settlement recognizes the justice of Kristine’s case and the wonderful work of Kristine and other professional carers.”
Tens of thousands of care and support workers will now vote on the proposed settlement in coming weeks.