Disabled Support Funding Needs To Go To Caregivers
Funding For Disabled Support Needs To Go To Caregivers
"It's vital that money in The Budget to support disabled New Zealanders is used to lift the low pay rates of the support workers in the sector," says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.
The Government has allocated $152.8 million over the next four to pay for support services for the disabled. The PSA has 2500 members working for non-government organisations providing disability services
"We are pleased to see the Government has recognised the need to increase pay rates in the disability sector," says Richard Wagstaff.
"The quality of life disabled New Zealanders are able to enjoy depends on the care they receive from their support workers." "Yet they are paid as little as the minimum wage, of just $11.25 an hour, and their average hourly wage is around $12.50 an hour."
Richard Wagstaff says the support workers struggle to live on these low pay rates and work long hours, 100 to 110 hours a fortnight, just to make ends meet.
"As a result of the low pay and poor working conditions the sector finds it really hard to recruit and retain staff."
Turnover among staff caring for disabled in residential care is 29% while its 39% for staff who attend disabled living at home.
"This is why it's essential the support workers' employers use The Budget funding, as it's intended, to boost the pay rates of their staff," says Richard Wagstaff.