E tū members are celebrating the settlement of the long running equal pay dispute and the biggest pay rise for members in a generation.
Care workers will now get to ratify a deal that could deliver massive pay rises for 55,000 care workers across the country.
This deal is all because our E tū member, Christine Bartlett, stood up for her rights and for the right of all carers to be recognised for their true value in the challenging disability and aged care sectors.
E tū is the union that took the bold stand five years ago, determined to challenge the persistent low pay for care workers, and now E tū and all its members can claim this victory with pride.
Flags fluttered among the many members who joined in celebration of the announcement in Wellington on Tuesday and as the new rates were read out, cheers rang in the rafters!
And no wonder. Thousands of care and support workers will see their pay lift from minimum wage or not much above that, to a starting rate of $19.00 this year, and a top rate of $23.50. The top rate by 2021 will be $27.00. What a difference!
The face of this equal pay case for five years, Kristine Bartlett, says this settlement is “a life changer” for these workers, who will now be able to live with dignity.
E tū delegate, Emily Sheffield told the crowd how much the offer means for workers like herself who have felt undervalued for so long.
“Carers work is consistently underpaid and that’s what women have done – doing something they love and not getting much recognition for it.”
So today is really exciting because this shows a change in attitude and a recognition of the real value of female work and the professionalism of our jobs.
“This will lift our pay, and make our lives easier but it is also a testament to our true worth.”
Aged care worker, Ruby Brar works 11 hour shifts three times a week to make ends meet. She says the settlement will mean huge change in people’s lives.
“We won’t have to exhaust our bodies doing double shifts to increase our pay. I’ll have time to spend with my husband.
“Everyone is so happy!”
You can watch the announcement on our Facebook page and stay updated on progress as we ratify the deal with all our members.