Category: Community Support

Equal pay deal for mental health support workers

The Council of Trade Unions, the Public Service Association and E tū welcome the Government’s commitment to equal pay for mental health and addiction support workers.

Health Minister Dr David Clark says his ministry will now begin formal negotiations with unions, providers and District Health Boards.

An estimated 3800 working people were excluded from last year’s care and support settlement after the National government refused to include them in negotiations.

“This is good news for working people who were left out of last year’s landmark care and support settlement,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff says.

“When government, ministries and unions work together, great outcomes can be achieved – and we look forward to fruitful negotiations.”

Unions expect these negotiations to occur with urgency, to extend the full terms of the care and support settlement to people working in mental health and addiction support.

“Our members in mental health and addiction support will be encouraged by today’s announcement,” PSA Assistant National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

“This proves to them that the work they do is valued – and so are the vulnerable people who they support every day.”

Unions say many workers in mental health and addiction support had considered moving to other types of care and support work where pay rates have increased after the settlement.

“We hope all the parties can work together to get this settlement in place for mental health and addiction support workers,” E tū Assistant National Secretary John Ryall says.

“The care and support settlement showed what a difference equal pay can make to the lives of these workers – but it’s not equal if it’s not for everyone.”

ENDS

For more information contact:

Jessica Williams | Media Advisor, PSA

Email: jessica.williams@psa.org.nz, Tel: +64 (0)4 816 5028, Mobile: +64 (0)27 600 5498

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IDEA ratification meetings 2018

Dear IDEA support workers and admin members,

Over the next few weeks union members are invited to attend a series of ratification meetings to receive and vote on the results of the current bargaining for a new collective.

For most members pay has already been sorted through the magnificent victory of the July 2017 equal pay settlement.  But there is more to work than the hourly rate and this year we faced real pressure from IDEA to cut existing right such as sick leave and access to stress leave.

At the same time, we have also pressed IDEA to recognise the need to make sure staff are not disadvantaged because of service reviews and to work with us to restore the margins for staff with ‘responsibility’ roles.

Your bargaining team will be reporting in detail on the results and member rostered to work at the time of their meeting will be paid to attend and vote on the offer.

Click here for the list of meetings which will be updated on the E tū website as details are finalised.  Do take the time to attend our meeting and share your voice and your vote!

For more information contact E tū union support on 0800 1 86466 and if we don’t already have your cell number let us know so we can send you text updates.

Thanks!

IDEA Services update: Good things take time

Good things take time. 

In the case of sleepovers, it took seven years. The recent equal pay settlement took five years and last year’s pay talks started in October 16 and finished in July 17. So, while we shouldn’t be surprised that the 2017 collective bargaining at IDEA will carry on into 2018.

Back in September members voted on a two-tier process with the focus on a short-term agreement through till May 2018.  We’ve called that Plan A.  Plan B was to table a wider set of goals with a greater focus on weekend and overtime pay – but only if Plan A didn’t work.

Our goal in both plans has been to work out a fairer result for member in four key project groups:

  1. The impact of service reviews on job security and guaranteed hours
  2. Restoring the margins (relativities) for senior staff now paid the same as others.
  3. Fixing pay equity and relativities for our admin members
  4. An agreed worker participation process.

Despite three days of formal bargaining IDEA has not agreed to our proposals and is insisting any new agreement running till October 2018.  IDEA has rejected the union timetable for the project groups and has not (yet) committed to the terms of reference we suggested.

E tū are holding firm that there needs to clear union participation in both Service Reviews and Schedule Reviews with more fair and reasonable process around reviews, there is a real need to reduce stress and anxiety for members around the service reviews process.

Members have a right receive accurate and relevant information to be provided to the union and members so that members have real informed choice, and to ensure that IHC take every practical step to sure members hours are maintained or increase.

For our admin members the principles of equal pay are as relevant to their job as it was to support workers.

What’s very disappointing is that IDEA won’t even discuss the first step. Even their pay offer of 5% doesn’t restore the relativities to the pre-July position.

IDEA has made an ‘offer’ which fell well short of our claims. In a strange move they told us it was a ‘package’ available until December 4th, despite us explaining it was simply not possible to consult with 3000+ members with such short notice.

The good news IDEA does seem to have withdrawn its own claims to:

  • Cut sick leave for new staff
  • Cap sick leave for current staff
  • Limit stress leave
  • Reduce the 2 weeks notice require for schedule changes to just 24 hours.

Getting any employer to remove their ‘nasty’ claims is part of the bargaining dynamic, but it was disappointing to see IDEA roll out the same old claims that disrespect hard won rights.

Your bargaining team told IDEA we would NOT be recommending their offer and even if we wanted to the timeframes were just not practical. Instead we are going to ask IDEA to meet again before Christmas to try and reach a settlement that genuinely respects the issues staff have raised.

We are still waiting for IDEA to agree to meet.

If we make progress, we’ll update you in the New year. If not then we will start over with Plan B, or C, or D and keep pushing till we get a deal that is fair for everyone. Whatever happens we will be holding paid membership meetings early next year and, as always, it makes a difference if you attend.

IF we make progress you get to decide if it’s enough.

If we don’t make progress, we need to get ready for action.

If you’d like to discuss the report talk to your local bargaining team member or Union Support on 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466).

IDEA bargaining update

Dear IDEA members,

IDEA Services Support and admin bargaining kicked off this week with two full days of negotiations.  In we September endorsed the push for full time jobs and a fairer process to deal with the challenge of service reviews.  Also high on the agenda is making sure staff are safe at work and sorting pay relativities for senior staff as well as equal pay for admin and supervisory staff. E tū delegates want a short term agreement to ensure any  changes are the right ones, but so far IDEA says it wants the full 12 months.

More talks are scheduled for November 13th with nationwide report back meetings due before Christmas.

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 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.

IDEA Services Collective Ratified

Dear E tū members

With the final votes counted we can confirm that E tū members have ratified the new collective agreement for admin and support workers. The final vote was 604 in favour and 243 against – meaning 7 out of every 10 votes were to settle.

It’s been a long year but firstly a big ‘thank’ you to all members for your hard work and continual support and dedication. Your membership has meant we have the resources to support each other at work as we deal with service reviews and disciplinaries, as well as mounting and winning the successful legal campaigns with Sleepovers, Home Support Travel Time, Home Support Guaranteed Hours. And now the Equal Pay Settlement for All Residential, Vocational and Supported Living Members.

The new rates start from the 1 July 2017, and there will need to be an adjustment to this fortnight pay as Idea Services will be legally required to back date any back pay from the 1 July 2017. And ‘yes’ vocational are included.

We thank you all for continually standing tall, despite the challenges from the Government and from within IDEA.

Because of members like you, we overcame these challenges and achieved another successful campaign for members.

Because of the delays, we don’t have long to wait until the next round of bargaining. Negotiations will start again as early as October and we expect to discuss the impact of relativities, the need to resolve equal pay for our admin members as well as ensuring the gains in Guaranteed Hours and health and safety are built on and enforced.

Nic Corrigan

E tū Industry Council member

On behalf of the E tū IDEA bargaining team.