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Quality of care questioned in Oceania strike

MEDIA RELEASE: NEW ZEALAND NURSES ORGANISATION
AND SERVICE AND FOOD WORKERS UNION NGA RINGA TOTA

7 March 2012

Quality of care questioned in Oceania strike

As hundreds of rest home workers across the country take strike action today for a fair pay rise the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and the Service and Food Workers Union are raising questions about the quality of care delivered to residents during the strike.

Union spokesperson David Wait says today’s turnout was larger than the strike last week with workers from the night shifts joining morning shift workers for a combined four hour stoppage and more rest homes involved in the action. Afternoon shift workers will strike from 4 pm today.

David Wait says while both unions gave extended notice of the action specifically to ensure that residents would be cared for, reports from across the country suggest that some residents may not have had their care needs met.

Some staff returning to work have reported a pattern of inconsistent care around resident needs.

“Many of those residents have not had their morning care provided or were left in bed.”

David Wait says union members have gone out of their way today to try and recover the situation but many are angry at the lack of attention given to residents.

“Oceania seems content to spend a fortune on expensive bureau staff who are not familiar with the needs of the residents. It is also spending money on so-called security guards whose only purpose appears to be to restrict visitors to the homes. That money would be better invested in a fair pay offer for staff.”

NZNO and SFWU will meet with Oceania tomorrow in a fifth day of mediation to try and resolve the nine-month long dispute. National stop work meetings at all 57 Oceania rest homes are set for 14 March.

The unions say they will encourage residents and their families to raise issues with the Health and Disability Commissioner to investigate their concerns about resident neglect

ENDS

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