News | Politics
23 Oct 2017 20:48
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Olympic Games
  • Ski Report
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Politics

    Govt puts $2b into care worker pay rises

    About 55,000 low-paid care workers are in for big pay rises, starting in July, and it's going to cost the government $2 billion over the next five years.

    The cabinet has signed off a $2 billion pay settlement for 55,000 aged care workers who will receive significant wage rises over the next five years, starting in July.

    Prime Minister Bill English and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced the settlement on Tuesday,

    "There's never been a pay settlement like this in New Zealand's history," said Dr Coleman.

    "It's a great moment for care and support workers."

    Mr English said it had been possible because of the strength of the economy.

    "We can afford this - it's a fair settlement agreed by the workers' representatives."

    Dr Coleman explained that from July 1 the predominantly female workforce, most of them on or around the minimum wage of $15.75 an hour, would receive a pay rise of between around 15 and 50 per cent depending on their qualifications and experience.

    "For the 20,000 workers currently on the minimum wage it means on July 1 they will move to at least $19 per hour, a 21 per cent pay rise. For a full-time worker, this means they will be taking home around an extra $100 a week, which is over $5000 a year," he said.

    "For these 55,000 workers this funding boost will see wages increase to between $19 to $27 per hour over five years."

    The workers provide aged residential care, home support and disability services for around 110,000 people..

    Those services are government-funded, and the pay equity claim stems from a case brought by care worker Kristine Bartlett in 2012, in which she argued she and other caregivers were paid less because they worked in a predominantly female industry.

    The Court of Appeal upheld a 2013 Employment Court ruling that in female-dominated occupations the Equal Pay Act 1972 required equal pay for work of equal value - different to the way the law had been interpreted in the past.

    The government set up a working group in response to the ruling and has been negotiating to settle the case.

    The announcement has been welcomed by unions and health sector organisations.

    Labour leader Andrew Little says the agreement will have a flow-on effect.

    "It will be an overdue spur for pay equity and for lifting low pay in many other areas," he said.

    He isn't giving the government any credit.

    "Make no mistake, the government has been dragged kicking and screaming to this point," Mr Little said.

    "It has had lawyers at each appeal stage of the original case opposing lower court decisions."

    © 2017 NZN, NZCity

     Other Politics News
     23 Oct: Trump calls Ardern, 'warm regards' for NZ
     22 Oct: Japan election: Shinzo Abe and his policies are unpopular, so why are voters set to stick with him?
     22 Oct: Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi once arrested for sedition, says free speech 'not in good condition'
     22 Oct: NZ PM hopes cross-Tasman education stays
     21 Oct: Trump administration congratulates Ardern
     21 Oct: Greens announce who will be ministers
     21 Oct: Ardern talks up accountability
     Top Stories

    Retallick given time to return: Hansen More...

    Vocus aims to sell NZ business by June More...

     Today's News

    In Uganda, Joseph Kony's former child soldiers and survivors rebuild lives after years of terror 20:47

    It's a rare day when George W Bush and Barack Obama agree: the American creed is in trouble 19:57

    King battles into New York squash final 19:27

    David Attenborough urges global action to reduce plastic in oceans 19:07

    Law and Order:
    Man arrested over Greymouth shooting death 17:57

    Rugby League:
    Meninga faces tough No.6 call: Gillett 17:17

    Vestas early leader in Volvo Ocean Race 16:57

    James Toback: Who is the latest Hollywood mogul accused of sexual harassment? 16:37

    Retallick given time to return: Hansen 15:17

    Kiwi Hartley 13th in Formula One debut 15:07

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2017 New Zealand City Ltd