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Aged Care In Trouble in Horowhenua

August 9, 2004

Aged Care In Trouble in Horowhenua

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has expressed concerns at the difficulties aged care providers are encountering in the Horowhenua region.

“Providers in the area appear to be having problems sustaining their workforce,” said local NZNO organiser Lynn Olsthoorn.

“Changes to employee hours in Madison, losses of jobs at Horowhenua Hospital and proposed job losses at Te Whanau are an indictment on the planners and will have a major effect in the Levin community,” she said.

Lyn Olsthoorn said NZNO was also recently involved in an attempt to negotiate a temporary reduction in hours at Foxton’s Lonsdale.

She said drastic job cuts at Te Whanau and the employer’s refusal to agree to a fair negotiating process has shocked union members, who are the majority of workers on site.

“Union members have expressed real concern for residents,’ said Lyn Olsthoorn.

“Our members feel as though they were better off when the previous owner placed them in receivership that they are now.”

Lyn Olsthoorn said Guardian Health Group, which owns Gardenview and Te Whanau in Levin, did not seem to understand the need to retain the highly skilled and dedicated existing workforce in order to maintain a viable business.

She said NZNO would attempt to work with Guardian Health Group to establish a mutually agreed process, however, it has become evident that this employer is paying lip-service to true and meaningful consultation. Job losses seem inevitable when this position is taken.

“Redundancies at Horowhenua Hospital with the closure of Ward 2 and hours cut at other aged care establishments mean a cold winter ahead for our region,” she said.

ENDS

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