Lack of pay equity for the NGO workforce and receiving fair contracts for services delivered are long standing issues for the social and community sector. Indeed an excerpt from a NZ Social Work Association newsletter bemoaned lack of pay equity for NGO social workers compared to their government and DHB colleagues in 1964! As a result of the research SociaLink undertook last year on pay equity (which compiled information from 155 workers from the western Bay of Plenty social and community sector about salaries) and requests from workers for SociaLink to take some action, SociaLink is initiating a campaign to raise community awareness of the issues and hopes to mobilise the workforce to take action.
SociaLink, in conjunction with social worker Phill Mulligan, has met with all of the Labour MP’s in our region, Jan Tinetti, Angie Warren-Clark and Tamati Coffey as well as members of the Education and Workforce Caucus committee to raise awareness of the issue and are in the process of engaging with the Public Services Association, NZ Nurses Organisations and ETū to explore how SociaLink can best progress and build awareness and a voice for the NGO sector locally. We will also engage with similar organisations to SociaLink to spread awareness across Aotearoa. We are also planning on sending out a survey to the sector to get a better understanding of the issues around contracts for service to assist in undertaking advocacy regarding contracts.