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Strikes highlight importance of funding for caregivers

Health strikes highlight importance of funding for caregiver wages

8 August 2014

Media Release

“It’s time for our Government to take action that will, at a minimum, achieve pay parity for our caregivers,” says Martin Taylor, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Aged Care Association.

“The recent announcement of a looming PSA strike action over wage rates in the health sector further highlights the large wage disparity between our 30,000 caregiver’s wages and DHB caregiver wages for doing the same job,” says Taylor.

More than 11,000 health workers from within DHB facilities have called for strike action over their wage rates this week.

The PSA is seeking an increase in DHB health worker’s wages. These wages are already significantly higher than those paid to caregivers in the aged care sector. Wages for both DHB health workers and the aged care sector’s caregivers are directly tied to government funding.

“Caregivers working within DHB facilities receive a minimum of $17.50 per hour, whereas the 30,000 caregivers working outside of DHB facilities receive on average only $15.31 per hour to do the same job,” he says.

“Our caregiver wage rates cannot be allowed to fall even further behind their DHB counterparts as a direct result of underfunding from our Government,” he says.

“This strike announcement shows just how woefully underfunded the aged care sector is. All caregivers deserve recognition for their hard work. This situation has prevailed for eight years which is far too long. Enough is enough,” he says.

The New Zealand Aged Care Association is currently campaigning for increased funding from the Government in order to achieve pay parity for caregivers. More information is available on the campaign website: www.whocares.org.nz

ENDS

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