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Remember Commitments To Caregivers

26 October 2005

Remember Commitments To Caregivers When Rewarding Top Earners

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is cautioning government to ensure that money committed to fair pay rates in the aged care sector is not spent on the highest paid state sector officials and MPs' salaries.

"Hardworking nurses, caregivers and support workers in aged care will not accept any protestations that there is insufficient money for them to be paid fairly and neither will equally hard working nursing staff in primary healthcare who still receive far less than their counterparts in DHBs," said NZNO Organising Services Manager Cee Payne-Harker.

"The pay hikes of up to $60,000 bandied around in the media for the highest paid state servants are more than double the entire annual salary of a full time caregiver who is responsible for round the clock care of sick and frail elderly," said Cee Payne-Harker.

"Our members will be watching these increases closely and waiting for the government funding required to fund their own long-overdue increases."

Cee Payne-Harker said the argument of recruitment and retention being used for pay increases for the most highly paid also applied to the undervalued workforce in primary health care and aged care.

"In both sectors there is a growing nursing recruitment crisis," she said.

Cee Payne-Harker said all political parties had made rock solid promises to fix the shocking pay in aged care during the election campaign.

"The fair pay rates for nursing and caregiving have been set in the DHBs," she said.

"Now government funding must be allocated for nursing staff in the primary health sector and aged care to also be paid fairly for the job they do."

ENDS

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