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Disability Support Services

On the picket line

Disabilities workers picketed the annual general meeting of their employer, Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau Trust, in Auckland on Thursday 11 November. The PSA union members are refusing to accept cut backs and want a signed collective agreement after a year of stalled negotiations.




Sleepover update 23 September 2013

The Ministry of Health have advised us that the following organisations are the next group for a sleepover Order in Council to be made.


  • Richmond
  • Recovery Solutions
  • Te Kotuku Ki Te Rangi Trust
  • Pathways Health Limited
  • Hinemoa Lodge Limited

The planned effective date is 1 November. Payments are legally required to be made within 2 months of that date.


Sleepover update 23 August 2013

Sleepover Order In Council number 7 will go to Cabinet on 2 September, and the effective date is likely to be a few working days after that date. From the effective date, the deadline to pay out the backpay will be 2 months.

Organisations included in this Order in Council are:


Arataki Ministries Limited

Ballymena Properties

Braeburn House Limited

Central Health Limited

Corstorphine Baptist Community Trust

Framework Trust

Gateway Housing Trust

Kotuku Trust

St Marks Society Inc

Te Awhi Whanau Charitable Trust

Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority

Te Mana Oranga Trust

Totara 61 Limited

Toucan Taranaki 2004 Limited

West Auckland Living Skills Trust Board (WALSH)


Sleepover update 14 May 2013

We have confirmed with MOH that the following organisations will be part of the 5th batch of Orders in Council:

Tomika Trust
Laura Fergusson Trust (Canterbury)
Brackenridge Estate Limited
Claddagh Haven Trust Board
Henderson Home Community Homes Limited
Geraldine Pathways Centre Trust
Donaldson Residential Trust
Te Whanau Tokotokorangi Trust

This is expected to go to Cabinet in June, but the exact date is not yet known. There is a possibility that some other organisations may also be ready in time for this batch too, and we will update this website once we know for sure.

Sleepover Settlement Progress Update

Expand all

  • What is the process and how long will it take for me to get my sleepover money?

  • Where are things up to in each workplace?

Sleepover payment delays add insult to injury

04 Mar 2013


The Public Service Association is accusing the Ministry of Health of adding insult to injury for hundreds of community support workers who are still waiting for their rightful sleepover more.

Aged care summit

The PSA along side NZNO, SFWU, care providers, DHBs and Grey Power attended the aged care summit about the caring counts report from the Human Rights Commission.


Support worker and PSA Delegate Jenny Goodman presented a short PowerPoint on the summit's theme of 'an ideal world'.  Her report can be downloaded here.


The full programme for the Summit can be found here.



Job evaluation proves that support workers are hugely underpaid

An independent job evaluation commissioned by the PSA proves that community support workers are underpaid by over $7000 a year. Pictured is researcher Janice Burns with community support workers.

Job evaluation briefing paper

Job evaluation report

Radio NZ interview transcript


Sleepover settlement proposed

The PSA and the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) have been in negotiations with the Government and providers to settle the sleepover dispute.  Over the next couple of weeks the PSA will be working with disability and mental health providers to implement the heads of Agreement for PSA members.

The key elements of the proposed settlement are:



*  The employer will pay 50% of the current minimum hourly wage rate for sleepovers backdated to 1 July 2011 and then 75% from 1 July 2012 then 100% no later than Christmas 2012.



*  50% of the back pay owed (plus an annual leave adjustment) to be paid to those who have filed and have worked sleepovers between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2011.



*  Those members who have filed claims for the period 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2005 and who ceased employment during that period will be paid back pay for that period on same basis as the point above.


The Government will fund increases to the minimum wage but it will only fund 100 % of this cost from 1 July 2013. Employers will pick up the cost between Christmas 2012 and 1 July 2013.


The proposed settlement is a vast improvement on the previous offer to phase in the minimum wage over a four-year period and provide only 25% of back pay   to current staff only,  capped at $45 million.

The next step is to get disability and mental health providers to sign up to the settlement and PSA  members involved in the legal action who are employees or authorised ex-employees of those organisations to vote on it.

Look out for notices of meetings in your workplace or region.

Send John Key and Tony Ryall a message

If you think sleepover workers deserve a fair go, tell John Key and Tony Ryall to get back to negotiations.  

Over at our Up Where We Belong site, we've set up a simple template for microsoft outlook and a word version for those using other email clients.  Click here to go to the site.


NOTE: Please ensure you are sending from a private e-mail address as we don't want members falling foul of any workplace policies. 

Lobbying your MP

Use these lobbying notes and contact your local MP about the sleepover case.  You can find your MP over at the New Zealand Parliament website

Sleepover newsletter

November 2011

June 2011 

Meeting notices


The PSA and SFWU held meetings around the country for members who work in disability and mental health support services. Over 90 percent of PSA and SFWU union members have rejected an offer from Government to settle the long-running sleepover case....more.   

Get the facts


Read more about the sleepover case.

NGO disability and community support

The PSA has 4000 members working in NGO disability, mental health and aged support services.

The industry is characterised by low of pay and poor career opportunities, largely because of an inadequate funding system. This reflects poorly on us as a society and the value we place on providing the support people need.


Carers' strategy has to be backed by resources

The PSA supports the government's ‘Carers’ Strategy’ but says it must be backed by the resources required for extra use of residential care.

Carers' strategy