Prior to the election and becoming Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern said she wanted to “right the wrong created by National’s exclusion of mental health care workers in the TerraNova equal pay settlement”.

This was one of Ardern’s stated reasons for opposing the pay equity legislation, in August this year.

E tū’s Equal Pay Coordinator, Yvette Taylor says she is confident Ardern will honour her words.

“Jacinda made a commitment at an equal pay rally during the election campaign to equal pay for these workers and we’re looking forward to that coming to fruition really soon,” says Taylor.

E tū confirms talks are already underway with health officials and looking “very positive”.

“We don’t believe the new coalition Government will throw up any barriers to this,” says Taylor.

E tū member and mental health support worker, Sandra Rawenata is also clinging to Labour’s pre-election promises of extending pay equity to mental health support workers.

“We’re feeling hopeful out here. We’re expecting the Government to stand by what they told us at the equal pay rally and that we will be fairly paid just like our comrades in disability and aged care.”

Rawenata says a settlement is crucial to stemming the loss of mental health support workers to other, better-paid care and support work.

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