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Aged Care Workers Winning as One

New Zealand Nurses Organisation

Media Release

13 December 2007


Aged Care Workers Winning as One

Today the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and Service and Food Workers Union have jointly initiated bargaining for a multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) with over 200 aged care providers across the country.

“Thanks to the activity of our members taking part in the Fair Share for Aged Care campaign, we have seen funding for the sector increase significantly,” says NZNO Industrial Advisor Rob Haultain. “Now those members not currently covered by a collective agreement want to work together as one to secure some of that funding for wage increases.”

Rob Haultain says that both unions have seen considerable numbers of aged care workers becoming members or renewing their union membership this year. “Collectively, aged care workers are stronger than ever,” Rob Haultain says.

Union members in over 200 residential aged care facilities not currently covered by a collective agreement were given the opportunity to decide if their workplace would be included in initiation for the MECA. Bargaining has been initiated with those employers whose staff have voted in favour of participating.

The initiation does not include any providers that currently have a collective agreement with NZNO and SFWU.

Through Fair Share for Aged Care, union members have campaigned for targeted Government funding to relieve chronic low wages, increase accessibility to quality training and to support safer staffing standards. “The Government has certainly tried to lead the response with funding increases and an expectation that such funding will result in better wages and, by extension, lower turnover in the sector. What we need is for employers to work positively in negotiations with the unions,” says Rob Haultain.

“Our campaign has delivered a lot for our members and the sector as a whole. We are very excited about the potential this next phase has in store,” says Rob Haultain.








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