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Redwood Lodge Staff To Strike For Second Day

Redwood Lodge Staff To Strike For Second Day

New Zealand Nurses Organisation members at Rotorua’s Redwood Lodge Rest Home and Hospital will be taking a second day of strike action tomorrow seeking minimum staffing levels in their collective agreement.

“Staff at Redwood Lodge are not prepared to compromise the care of their elderly residents or their own safety any longer and will take whatever action is necessary to address these issues,” said NZNO organiser, Shane Vugler.

Shane Vugler said staff were angry that NZ Life Care was putting the profit margins ahead of the quality of life of their residents.

“Staff do not accept that NZ Life Care needs more government funding before they can employ more staff or pay them better, particularly as NZ Life Care is currently paying nearly one dollar in five as ‘rent’ to the Corporate owning the Redwood Lodge property.”

NZNO is calling on the Government and the Ministry of Health to prescribe reasonable minimum staffing levels in their contracts with aged care providers.

“That is the only way we can ensure that state health dollars are going directly into care of our elderly”, said Shane Vugler.

NZ Lifecare Ltd has refused to agree to any minimum staffing standards and is targeting their staffing costs as a percentage of their income down to 50%. The Ministry of Health’s funding model recommends staffing costs should be between 66% and 70% of income, which is the range most religious and community providers operate in.

NZ Lifecare Ltd is also offering a wage increase to bring the hourly rate for most staff only to $10.30 up to $10.60, but then they are taking some of that back by cutting the weekend allowances, and in some cases cutting it in half. NZNO is claiming a salary range of $10.00 to $12.50 for caregivers based on formal qualifications and experience.

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