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Industrial Action In Resident Care: Funding Blamed

PRESS RELEASE

19 May 2005

Industrial Action In Residential Care - Funding To Blame

Today in Christchurch the NZNO and the SFWU will launch industrial action against three aged care facilities Holmwood, Windermere, and Woodchester Hospital.

“All employers in the sector admit that wages are low but they have no choice as aged care funding is low and the sector is in crisis. The reality is that if they paid more they would go bust”, says Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ

“The average wage for an experienced caregiver is around $10.90 per hour, we know this is to low. It’s hard and emotionally demanding work, but the reality is employers are not to blame – the government is”.

Today the sector is hoping that the budget will signal a change in the government’s attitude to residential care, caregivers and the elderly with increased funding.

“We have only asked for 5% per year for three years with an inflation adjustment and some compensation for the nurses MECA. This level of funding will stabilise the crisis and allow employers to pass wage increases to their caregivers”

“I have to say we are not expecting a funding increase as this Labour Government have ignored the sectors calls for the last five years. Only last week they released a Cabinet paper proposing a ‘work stream’ to produce more ‘reports’ on the aged care sector despite the Hon Pete Hodgson saying that the “country is littered with them [health sector reports]”.

“We don’t need more reports or inquiries, these are just delaying tactics, we need more funding other wise the crisis in the aged residential care sector will only get worse”, said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ

ENDS

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