Workers Wait for Wage Rise
New Zealand Nurses Organisation
23 November 2007
Ryman Announces Record Profit, Workers Wait for Wage Rise
The thumping $34.7 million half-yearly profit announced with fanfare by Ryman Healthcare this morning reveals the truth behind Healthcare Providers New Zealand’s war on workers’ wages that saw Aged Care employers take District Health Boards to court earlier this week.
While Ryman Healthcare has boosted profits by a staggering 22% over the same period last year, Aged Care workers are struggling to secure pay increases of around 4%. This is despite taxpayer money being pumped into these corporations for the specific purpose of lifting meagre wages off the minimum rate and improving working conditions.
“Earlier this week we asked ‘Where is taxpayer money going in Aged Care?’ Now we know,” says New Zealand Nurses Organisation Industrial Advisor Rob Haultain. “Serious players in global financial markets such as Macquarie Bank are attracted to New Zealand’s Aged Care sector precisely because this kind of money can be generated at the expense of quality care and a fair share for their workforce.”
Rob Haultain says that Aged Care corporates like Ryman have a duty to offer the highest quality care to all of their residents – including those in their rest homes. “The providers offer a continuum of care from villas and villages right through to higher acuity care in residential facilities. Therefore it is appropriate that some of the income generated from selling villas to our elderly be used to look after for those same people when they need a more significant level of care.”
Earlier this week, Healthcare Providers NZ launched a judicial review of the funding contracts private providers have with DHBs. HPCNZ is specifically seeking to have the requirement to pass on additional funding by increasing the minimum rate to $12.55 and offering a $1/hr increase to all caregivers, laundry, kitchen and cleaning staff removed from those contracts. Despite signing up to these contracts, including those requirements, many providers have still not met the minimum standards. Others have implemented the new rates but not backdated to 1 July, when the funding was introduced.
Ryman Sets New Record - Profit Up 22 Percent
Press Release by Ryman Healthcare Limited at 8:53 am, 23 Nov 2007
Listed retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare set a new record with today's announcement of a half year profit of $34.7 million, up 22 percent on the same period last year.
Operating cashflow was a record $61 million for the half and the directors have lifted the interim dividend to 2.2 cents per share, up from 1.8 cents this time last year. The dividend will be paid on December 14 and the record date for entitlements is December 7.
Chairman Dr David Kerr said the Board were very happy with the company's expansion plans.
"Three new villages have already opened this year, in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch, and the Nelson village is due to open by year end."
The company has now built more than 3,000 units, up from 900 eight years ago. This growth has all been achieved while increasing dividends and without seeking additional capital from shareholders.
"Our landbank is in great shape. We recently secured a site in Whangarei which means we now have capacity to build just under 2,000 units across thirteen different sites."
"The record profit is a direct reflection of the growth in our portfolio in recent years, and the strong demand we are experiencing across all of our villages."
The result was the first for the company to be reported under International Financial Reporting Standards. Under the old standards the profit for the half was up 23%.
"We are committed to our strategy of organic growth, developing uniquely Ryman villages on greenfields sites throughout New Zealand, and we expect to achieve our targeted growth for the year."
Ryman currently owns 17 villages nationwide and plans to open new villages in Nelson, Orewa, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Gisborne and Dunedin. The villages are all designed, built and operated by Ryman.
The company is a six times winner of Best Retirement Village in New Zealand, and provides homes and care services to more than 3500 New Zealanders