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Nurses’ Organisation Welcomes Cullen Commitment

14 September 2005

Nurses’ Organisation Welcomes Cullen Commitment to Aged Care Funding

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has joined Healthcare Providers NZ in welcoming Finance Minister Michael Cullen’s commitment to a significant increase in aged care funding.

“Like the providers, we are encouraged to hear this commitment to dramatically increased funding and to ensuring funding does not fall behind inflation,” said NZNO spokeswoman Cee Payne-Harker today.

“NZNO is also calling for increased funding to be specifically targeted to increasing pay for nurse, caregivers and support workers in aged care and to ensure the aged care workforce is properly trained with adequate staffing levels.”

Cee Payne Harker said small amounts of money would simply be a drop in the bucket and would not fix the issues in aged care, created by historical underfunding.

“During the 1990s the National government ran down aged care funding,’ she said.

“The serious underfunding, coupled with the massive impact of the Employment Contracts Act devastated pay and conditions of the aged care workforce. “

“While Labour hasn’t done enough to turn back the clock to pre-1990, funding for the sector has increased by $131 million over the past two years and, under the Employment Relations Act, workers have the right to organise in unions and bargain collectively,” said Cee Payne-Harker.

ENDS

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