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Presbyterian Support Backtracks On Pay Offer

19 July 2004

Presbyterian Support Backtracks On Pay Offer

The unions representing workers in 11 South Island aged care hospitals and rest homes owned by Presbyterian Support have agreed to mediation in an attempt to settle pay negotiations.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation spokesperson Kay Squires said talks broke down last week.

Kay Squires said a sticking point for members of the Nurses Organisation and the Service Workers Union was the employer’s withdrawal of an allowance for working on Saturdays.

“Our members are very disappointed that an earlier offer for a Saturday allowance has been withdrawn,” she said.

“Presbyterian Support’s pay offer to these low paid workers is already small, without withdrawing the offer of a very modest additional allowance for coming into work on a Saturday.”

Kay Squires said the unions had made the Saturday allowance a priority in negotiations and also sought small allowances for night duty and for the one staff member in charge.

She said the workers were angry that their modest claim had been rejected, particularly since previous pay rises had been very small.

“Our members are entrusted with the care of the most vulnerable in our society and yet their pay is a disgrace,” she said.

“In negotiations we gave the employer the example of a caregiver who had worked for Presbyterian Support for seven years and whose pay has increased by only $1.49 in that time.”

Mediation will take place on August 19.

ENDS

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