Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Newman launches survey of sheltered workshops


Newman launches survey of sheltered workshops

ACT Deputy Leader Dr Muriel Newman, concerned about the appalling lack of consultation with the vulnerable families who will be directly affected by the Labour Party's Disabled Persons in Employment Bill, today launched a survey of workshops and families.

"Since the Government refuses to ensure that workers and families associated with sheltered workshops - who will be directly affected by this bill - are fully informed as to the likely changes that may occur once the bill becomes law, I am contacting them myself to ascertain their views," said Dr Newman, who is also deputy chair of the Social Services Select Committee.

"There are some 3,700 workers attending the country's 35 sheltered workshops, with well over 10,000 people including family members who will be directly affected by the proposed law change, yet our committee received only 16 submissions on the bill.

"That means that most workers and their families don't have a clue what's going on - even though the bill may well turn their lives upside down. I have heard stories of sheltered workshops closing and disabled workers going from being proud full-time workers to doing four hours a week of `community participation' and sitting in front of TV for the rest of the time. Their families are worried sick.

"Driven by the unions, the bill requires that anyone engaged in work must be paid the minimum wage. The problem is that many of the workers at sheltered workshops have limited productivity, and paying them a full wage is not possible - unless the government steps in to provide the necessary subsidy. While the Government has categorically ruled this option out, for the next two years they will allow workshops to obtain minimum wage exemptions for workers, as long as they undergo productivity assessments by labour inspectors every six months.

"With no long-term commitment to their on-going viability, many workshops are now contemplating closing. Others are looking at their options. One such workshop told our committee that according to their calculations, after the bill becomes law, they will be forced to send home around 80 of their 120 workers. Some of these workers have been employed at the workshop for 20 years, they love going to work and they are extremely proud of the contribution they make.

"My survey will be faxed to sheltered workshops today. Further, I will also be surveying the more than 500 concerned people who signed an electronic petition on http://www.disabledpersons.co.nz/ calling for more consultation to find out if they believe those who will be affected by the bill have been properly consulted, what effect the bill will have on them, and if they support the introduction of the bill in its current form.

"I will also ask whether their call for more consultation over the DPEP Bill is as a result of them being a sheltered workshop worker, a family member of a worker, a sheltered workshop provider, or a concerned member of the public.

"I intend to publicly release the results of both of these surveys as soon as they are available", Dr Newman said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election