Mental health support workers who felt they should have been included in the Equal Pay Settlement, are speaking up.

Mental Health support worker, Sandra Rawenata says it’s unfair.

“We do pretty much the same work but we’re not paid the same,” she says.

“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.”

E tū’s Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor believes the proposed new equal pay legislation is a step backwards.

“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 Taylor.

“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.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is also opposing the bill.

“The Pay Equity legislation the Government introduced this week will also be scrapped and redrafted when we are in office.  The current legislation means we will never again see a settlement like the TerraNova settlement, or genuine pay equity achieved for our sisters, mothers, daughters and granddaughters. That’s just not right in 2017.”

Ardern says she wants to “right the wrong created by National’s exclusion of mental health care workers in the TerraNova equal pay settlement”.

“We all want a just agreement that will stop the potential exodus of talented carers. It’s in everyone’s interests to ensure that these important workers are paid fairly, and that they continue their vital work.”

Equal Pay week is this week, running from 12th to 20th August.



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