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Caregivers Send Pay Slips to Parliament

14 March 2005

Caregivers Send Pay Slips to Parliament

Caregivers’ Week, March 14 – 18

Underpaid caregivers will take the unusual step this week of sending their payslips to Parliament to show just how low their pay is.

Today is the start of national Caregivers’Week.

Members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and the Service and Food Workers Union, who care for the elderly in rest homes, private hospitals and dementia units, will send their payslips to Associate Minister of Health Pete Hodgson, the minister with responsibility for aged care funding issues.

“Caregivers are sending their pay slips to Pete Hodgson to demonstrate the real low down on caregivers’pay,” said NZNO spokesperson Cee Payne-Harker.

“Pay rates on average of $10.80 an hour mean for a caregiver takes home as little as $345.00 for a 40 hour week.”

Cee Payne-Harker said the New Zealand community should be appalled at how little pay caregivers get for undertaking work that is both physically and emotionally demanding.

“Government funding in the sector must be increased and targeted to improving pay for caregivers and others employed in the sector,” she said.

“Government is prepared to play an active role in the early child care sector by increasing funding to employers who pay union negotiated fair rates of pay to early childhood teachers. Early child workers and caregivers both provide dedicated services to some of the most vulnerable in our community. Pay in the aged care sector must be addressed urgently before the staffing crisis in aged care becomes a catastrophe.”

ENDS

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