Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Pay rise for mental health workers

By Regan Paranihi

Support workers in the mental health and addictions area are in line for a pay rise.

The Minister of Health David Clark says the Government will negotiate a pay equity settlement which could result in a similar deal to that for workers in the aged care sector.

Clark said about 3800 workers would be in line for a pay increase.

Platform Trust, which supports community-based mental health organisations, says the Government is demonstrating that it values the mental health workforce.

The Trust Chair Naomi Cowan says, “"This has been a difficult time for employers who have wanted to reassure our highly skilled employees that they deserve to be paid adequately for their work, like their colleagues in the aged care, disability and home and community sectors."

And Platform Trust CEO Marion Blake agrees. She says, “This settlement will help to ensure that a quality workforce, that is paid adequately and consistently across the wider sector, is available to support New Zealanders when they experience mental health or addictions issues."

The settlement talks follow the Government’s recent announcement of a mental health and addictions inquiry, due to deliver its findings by October.