Community Support

With 8,000 members in community support this is one of the fastest growing sectors of our union. The workforce includes those working in residential aged care, home care, disability support and social services in a range of hands ­on and support roles. Community support is a growth sector of the NZ economy but a history of underfunding and gender-­based pay discrimination means few workers are properly valued for the work the demanding and skilled work they do.

With women making up most of the sector E tū is leading the fight against gender-­based pay discrimination. E tū member and equal pay hero Kristine Bartlett has taken a landmark legal action that has reinterpreted the 1972 Equal Pay Act winning the case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 2016 we are working with unions are in negotiations with employers and the government to turn the vistory into a settlement that lifts wages to as much as $26 an hour.

Read more about the Equal Pay campaign [link]

Aged care

We represent around 4,000 members in residential aged care and home support. With an aging population in New Zealand, aged care is one of our growth industries. Our members work for major corporate employers such as BUPA, Metlifecare, Oceania, Summerset and Access, as well as religious and community providers such as Presbyterian Support. Union agreements set the benchmark for two thirds of the sector so reaching out to non union staffis an important part of our organising in both residential and home support.

While low pay is the most significant issue that needs addressing, E tū is also focused on safe staffing levels and proper training opportunities for the care and support staff across the sector.

Along with our successes in the Equal Pay campaign we’ve already secured won in-­between travel time payments for home support workers and later this year guaranteed hours will be under the spotlight.

Disability support/mental health/social services

Another 4000 plus members work in disability support and mental health with large employers such as IDEA Services, CCS Disability Action and PACT as well as smaller local and community based providers.

In recent years we have had huge wins for our members in disability support including winning better pay rates for staff required to sleepover at work. Our victory resulted in backpay and annual increases of over $60 million.

Disability support workers are now included in the equal pay negotiations and we’ll be pushing to extend any settlement to mental health and social services.

E tū is also campaigning to raise awareness about the disability support sector and the complexity and responsibility of the work. Disability support workers are some of the unsung heroes of our communities and play the vital role of helping people with disabilities live comfortably and reach their full potential.

Selwyn Foundation E tū members celebrate their ongoing campaign for decent wages.

Mental health care and support workers lodge equal pay claim

Today the PSA and E tū will lodge an equal pay claim on behalf of community mental health support workers with the Employment Relations Authority.

From 1 July, care and support workers in aged care, disability care and home support will receive a big pay lift as a result of the historic care and support Equal Pay settlement.

But mental health support workers aren’t included and will get nothing.


The findings of the 2016 Aged Care Workforce Survey have been released today and paint a picture of an industry plagued by stress, insecure hours, and inadequate pay.

Home support worker and E tū delegate Tamara Baddeley lives this every day.

E tū: proposed Equal Pay bill is not justice for women

E tū says the equal pay settlement announced this week may be the last unless the government changes its draft bill related to future equal pay claims.

E tū took the equal pay case on behalf of Kristine Bartlett, which this week culminated in a $2 billion settlement offer for care and support workers in Aged Care, Disability Services, and Home Support. 

Big day for equal pay!

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.


IDEA support staff vote to walk off job

Support workers employed by IDEA Services, the operational arm of IHC, have voted to strike after Easter in protest at a lack of progress in their pay talks.

E tū advocate Alastair Duncan says the vote, by more than 1500 union members, was overwhelmingly in favour with 98% voting by secret ballot to strike.