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Disability support staff deserve a better deal

PSA Media Release

Disability support staff deserve a better deal - pay negotiations break down

“Disability support workers who are members of the Public Service Association and work for New Zealand Healthcare Group deserve a better pay deal than the poor increase of about 50 cents an hour currently on offer,” said Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary.

The union was this week bargaining a collective employment agreement with the New Zealand Healthcare Group seeking a pay increase of between $1 and $1.50 per hour. Pay negotiations broke down after a refusal by the employer to agree to a fair pay deal.

“We are not prepared to sit by and allow this employer to take these workers for granted. We have asked Healthcare New Zealand to come back to the table with a pay offer which our members can take seriously.”

Healthcare New Zealand is a privately owned, publicly funded company that delivers residential disability support and home-based support.

“These low-paid health workers play a critical role in delivering support services to those most in need in our communities. They deserve a fair pay deal and fair treatment at work.”

“For too long these workers have been under-valued by their employer, the time has come for a decent pay increase, said Richard Wagstaff.”

PSA members recently presented a submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry into disability support services advocating for a fair living wage for all workers throughout the sector and better training and support.

The PSA is New Zealand’s largest union with 55,000 members from health, local and central government and community services. The PSA has over 2,500 members in the disability support sector.

PSA members at Healthcare New Zealand include those who provide care and support in community houses, private homes throughout New Zealand and in Bloomfield Hospital in Wellington.

ENDS

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