In 2017, E tū and aged care worker Kristine Bartlett won equal pay for all care and support workers through a combination of organising, campaigning, and legal strategy. This resulted in the Care and Support (Pay Equity) Settlement Act being signed into law, and pay increases of up to 45% for all care and support workers.
The rates E tū care and support members won are below. We are in year 3/4:
|Level||Qualification or service||1 July 2017 Year 1||1 July 2018 Year 2||1 July 2019 Year 3/4||1 July 2021 Year 5|
|1||L0 or <3 years service||$19.00||$19.80||$20.50||$21.50|
|2||L2* or 3+ years service||$20.00||$21.00||$21.50||$23.00|
|3||L3*or 8+ years service||$21.00||$22.50||$23.00||$25.00|
|4||L4* or 12+ years service||$23.50||$24.50||$25.50||$27.00|
|4b||Reaches 12+ years service after 1 July 2017 with no L4*||$22.50||$23.50||$24.50||$26.00|
* You can only progress based on service if you have continuous service with your employer from before July 2017.
A key part of this law is the obligations your employer has to help you get the training needed to get the top equal pay rate (currently $25.50 per hour).
What does the law say?
The employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that a care and support worker is able to attain:
- a level 2 qualification within the first 12 months of continuous employment with the employer; and
- a level 3 qualification within the first 3 years of continuous employment with the employer; and
- a level 4 qualification within the first 6 years of continuous employment with the employer.
If an employer fails to comply with these training obligations the worker can take a personal grievance for unjustified disadvantage.
The feedback from E tū members is that many employers are not providing this support, and care and support workers are not getting qualifications in the time frames set out in the law, which is causing a disadvantage.
We have put together a quick survey to help us find out the extent of the problem, and to identify any members that may be able to take further action to get the pay you deserve. The results of this survey will also help us to decide what needs to be considered during the next collective agreement negotiations.
If any of your workmates are not yet a member of the union, ask them to join at www.etu.nz/join