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Aged Care Strikes Premature

Aged Care Strikes Premature

Industrial action in aged care facilities is hurting the wrong parties, and puts the care and well-being of elderly at risk. Government funding and DHB apathy are at fault for current wage levels, says Martin Taylor, CEO of Healthcare Providers NZ.

“Unions, government and providers all agree that the sector is underfunded. Unfortunately, this means that in some cases, staff are not paid at the same rates as in DHBs. This is because providers are simply not funded well enough to be able to match higher DHB pay rates”.

“No amount of industrial action that puts the care and well-being of our elderly at risk is going to work. Before wages can increase, the government and DHBs must increase the price paid to providers to deliver aged residential care services”.

“The NZNO supported our campaign for better funding for aged residential care because they know that funding is to blame for unfair wages in the sector. While we too would like to see staff paid more, the reality is that providers are struggling to keep their doors open, and cannot afford to match DHB MECA rates”.

“The timing of strikes is premature. Unions are taking strike action before providers have concluded negotiations with DHBs relating to the $71 million promised to the sector in this year’s budget. If all the money, promised by the Labour government for aged residential care, were passed on to providers, there would be no problems”.

ENDS

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