NZNO's Blog

Equal pay is here to stay


This is me (listening hard!) at an NZNO delegate training day a couple of weeks ago.

My name is Dilani Perera. I am an NZNO delegate and a caregiver at a resthome in Wellington. I have been following Kristine Bartlett’s equal pay case with interest.

When I heard yesterday about the Equal Pay case decision I couldn’t say anything for a moment. It took a while to sink in. It is such a wonderful decision and I will celebrate with my family at home and my other family at work. This decision means a lot to me and to every woman who works as a caregiver in aged care.

My life has not been easy but I love my job. Most days I get up before dawn to go to work and care for my old people at work. They are my second family. I look after them and care for them the way I would want my mother to be looked after.

I feel it is a privilege and a joy to care for our elders even though it is tiring and hard work. I’m always tired when I get home and I often feel bad that my family misses out.

Yesterday the Court of Appeal has told me that this country cares about me and the work I do and that the money I get is not enough.

I have worked here for 10 years and I have passed all the qualifications and still only get one dollar more than the minimum wage.

I am a solo mother and I have brought up my three children myself, and I never have enough for them. Our house is always cold. When my children ask me for something I have to think whether it is possible this week, or next week.

If I had equal pay I would have a better home and better food and better clothes. Better everything!

I would also spend more time with my family. It took me seven years to save enough money to visit my mother back home. If I had equal pay I could visit more.

Lots of my friends at work have two jobs and are so, so tired. I want them to be happy and well and enjoying their families.

I thank my sister Kristine Bartlett and my union for giving me a better life ahead. On behalf of all caregivers and their families too, thank you.

Thank you also to the Court of Appeal who finally made me feel like the work I do is valued.

This is a short clip we filmed late last year about equal pay.

8 thoughts on “Equal pay is here to stay

  1. Great news that a pay rise has been approved, it’s a pity however that new Enrolled Nurses are having trouble finding jobs in and around Auckland .No vacancies seem to exist

    • It’s just as hard getting a job in the Bay Of Plenty as an Enrolled Nurse. I thought by up skilling I would be in a better position….Not so. It’s only due to personal reasons I’ve had to stop applying for work.

  2. Congratulations to Christine for her perseverance and being prepared to front the equal pay case. It has taken a lot of courage and I commend her on that. History has been made

  3. Hopefully finally the amazingly hard working health care workers will be properly financially paid for looking after our families in aged care facilities . We are judged by how we treat our most vulnerable so far NZ is guilty of abusing them by not giving them a workforce which is adequately paid and educated.

  4. Now all we have to do is have the money put where there are now the words

  5. Has the Prime Minister seen this? The sad thing is, he won’t need to come into an Enliven home because he’s so wealthy. With the current fiasco over a criminal flying to Brazil, perhaps the request for pay parity with prison guards is unfair: aged care workers deserve more money than corrections staff!

  6. I think that’s fabulous it would be great if we could get equal pay…such as Tamariki Ora Nurses and Plunket Nurses. Kaupapa Maori nurses and mainstream nurses. There is a huge difference.

  7. Nzno does a lot of work for us as a care giver they want us to have equal pay we work hard with less pay its a hard work but we as care giver love our job as for me money is okay but we love our other family no 2

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