Support workers deserve better pay

Care and support workers deserve much better than the pay rates Labour is pushing through Parliament today.

“Care and support workers are essential to the long-term wellbeing of our families, our communities and our country as a whole – and they deserve better.

“We should not be in a situation where the Government is rushing through legislation at the last minute, silencing caregiver and community voices, just to increase pay by a paltry 65 cents to 79 cents an hour.

“Unions have said that if the same wage rate calculations were used today as were used in the historic Kristine Bartlett 2017 settlement, wages would be around $7 higher per hour – not less than $1.

“This looks like exploitation. The Green Party will not vote for the exploitation of essential workers.

“The proposal does not even meet the increased cost of living, and we will continue to see wāhine Māori and Pasifika women disproportionately impacted by low wages in this sector.

“We’re also concerned that the Minister is presenting this as a 4.6% pay raise, when the so-called ‘out of cycle’ pay increase 2021 was an existing entitlement under the legislation. This is blatantly misleading.

“With inflation impacting the lowest paid the most, this will leave thousands of care and support workers struggling to provide for themselves and their whānau.

“The Green Party is committed to achieving genuine pay equity for support workers as soon as possible.

“This includes preserving the value of the 2017 settlement until a pay equity process can be completed – at a bare minimum.

“We will be pushing for much more substantial increases as the Bill progresses today, and in the future,” says Jan Logie.

ENDS

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