ElderYouthCoordinationSexual ViolenceChildrenDisabilityCrisisFamilyMaoriMenEthnicEducationLegalParentingCounsellingWomen


Pay equity updates: Oranga Tamariki social workers, bill and action plan

October 19, 2018 at 11:09 AM

From the NZFVC

The Government has made a number of recent announcements related to pay equity. These include a pay equity agreement for Oranga Tamariki - Ministry of Children social workers, a new pay equity bill and an action plan on the gender pay gap in the public sector.

Pay equity for Ministry for Children - Oranga Tamariki social workers

Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced that Cabinet has agreed to fund a pay equity settlement for Oranga Tamariki social workers. She said it was an 'agreement in principle' between Oranga Tamariki and the Public Service Association (PSA). The settlement would be worth $114.6m over five years. According to the press release, the settlement would apply to more than 1300 Oranga Tamariki social workers. On average they would receive a 30.6% rise over a two year period. After reviewing the settlement in the following weeks, Oranga Tamariki social workers who are PSA members will vote on whether to accept the settlement.

Non-government organisations (NGO) have called for the settlement to apply to all social workers, including the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social WorkersWomen's RefugeNZ Council of Christian Social ServicesWhānau Ora Services for Manukau Urban Māori AuthoritySocial Service Providers AotearoaShakti Community Council and the Methodist Alliance

Many of these NGOs have raised concerns about the impact of widening the existing wage gap between social workers employed by Oranga Tamariki and social workers employed by community organisations, currently around 20% on average. The gap is expected to widen up to 50% with the pay offer, leading to fears that community agencies will struggle to employ social workers facing the choice of better paid jobs with government.

Pay equity legislation introduced

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament in September 2018. The proposed legislation is intended to make it easier for workers to file a pay equity claim within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework.

Government launches action plan on gender pay gap

Minister for State Services Chris Hipkins and Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter launched the Government's action plan to eliminate the gender pay gap in the public sector. The press release summarises the four key focus areas in the strategy:

  • "Equal Pay - By the end of 2020 all agencies will have closed any gender pay gaps within the same roles.
  • Flexible Work by Default - By 2020 all agencies will be flexible-by-default.
  • Bias and Discrimination - By the end of this year there will be no gender pay gaps in starting salaries for the same roles.
  • Gender Balanced Leadership - By the end of 2019 women will hold at least 50 percent of leadership roles in the top three tiers of leadership."

Click here for more information

Category: Pay equity