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NZNO Backs Call To Make Poverty Pay Rates History

24 January 2006

NZNO Backs Call To Make Poverty Pay Rates History

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is supporting the SupersizeMyPay campaign call for an immediate increase to the minimum wage to make poverty wages history in New Zealand.

NZNO spokesperson Rob Haultain said many caregivers working in residential aged care are paid the minimum adult wage of $9.50 an hour.

She said the small rise they will get in March, when the minimum adult wage increases to $10.25, is simply not enough.

"Caregivers are amongst the lowest paid New Zealanders and they do one of the hardest jobs, caring for our elderly at their most vulnerable time," she said.

"The low minimum wage enables wealthy corporates in the aged care sector, who can afford to pay their staff properly, to pay poverty rates, and it also means that community minded employers who want to pay their workers fairly are operating in a sector where the going rate is far too low."

Rob Haultain said it was in the interests of all New Zealanders that caregivers were decently paid.

"That is the only way to ensure we have quality care in our rest homes, private hospitals and dementia care homes," she said.

ENDS

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