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Pay Jolt Needed for Allied Health Workers

Aotearoa/NZ Association of Social Workers
NZ Association of Counsellors
NZ Association of Occupational Therapists
NZ Association of Optometrists
NZ Association of Psychotherapists
NZ Audiological Society
NZ Dental Therapists Association
NZ Dietetic Association
NZ Institute of Medical Radiation Technology
NZ Psychological Society
NZ Society of Physiotherapists
NZ Society of Podiatrists
NZ Speech-Language Therapists Association
Public Service Association

17 December 2004

Media Release

Pay Jolt Needed for Allied Health Workers

“The investment made by government in ensuring a realistic increase for nurses must be matched for allied health professions across all employment settings”, said Gail Leach, Convenor of the Allied Health Professional Associations’ Forum today.

While congratulating nurses on the 20-30% pay rise which has been negotiated for nurses, members of the Allied Health Professional Associations’ Forum have highlighted the need for a similar increase for the professions they represent.

Allied health professionals including audiologists, counsellors, dental therapists, dietitians, medical radiation technologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers and speech-language therapists continue to be paid poorly.

For example, after completing a Bachelors degree the average starting salary for physiotherapists and occupational therapists is approximately $33,000.

This low level of pay means that in many parts of the country, the public health service is struggling to attract and retain a range of health professionals who play vital roles in the treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of ill health. This has a detrimental effect on the level of services able to be provided to patients.

The Allied Health Professional Association’s Forum looks forward to government increasing the funding available to recognise that all health workers must be adequately paid for the vital services they provide to the New Zealand public.


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