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Government must deliver pay parity for healthcare

MEDIA STATEMENT
For immediate release

28 May 2008


Government must deliver pay parity to Maori, iwi and nonprofit organisations if they want continued services

Māori, iwi and Nonprofit Primary Health Care Providers are calling on the Government to deliver pay parity to nonprofit healthcare workers.

60 Māori and Iwi Primary Health providers have been working in partnership with members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation for a multi-employer collective agreement (MECA).

Representatives of the employers and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation will deliver a petition calling for more funding to Parliament at 1pm on Thursday 29 May 2008.

Rowena Gotty, a spokesperson for the employer's representatives, says pay parity is an issue for all Maori, community and voluntary sector organisations.

"We are calling for pay parity with district health boards (DHB) in recognition that Māori health workers are providing exactly the same service as their DHB counterparts.

This follows the 2004 historic fair pay settlement with DHBs which brought pay increases of over 20%. The settlement closed the pay gap between DHB employed nurses, midwives and health care assistants and other professionals in roles requiring similar skills, experience and qualifications, such as teachers and police.

The Government provided the necessary additional funding for the settlement. But primary health workers were left behind, with a registered nurse in a DHB receiving up to $160 more a week than a registered nurse in primary health.

Lauren James, a spokesperson for the employers representatives, says there is a deep hypocrisy in the fact that the Government in not recognising the enormous value and special skills and knowledge held by kaupapa Māori health workers.

"They are actually penalising Māori health care workers for choosing to work for Maori and iwi organisations over Government organisations," Lauren James says.

"This is despite the fact that the Government relies heavily on Māori health providers, and other Sector organisations to provide core social services in Aotearoa New Zealand."

Māori Primary Health Care Providers are delivering a huge range of services throughout the country, including health promotion, Tamariki Ora, Homebased Support, child and adolescent services, GP Services, including mobile practice nurses.

Lauren James says Maori disease prevalence rates are high and their life expectancy is lower than other ethnic groups.

"The Government knows this and continues to remind providers about the strategies it has set to improve Maori health gain. However, in order to meet the strategic goals, an equal amount of resources is required not only to provide Maori providers with the capacity to meet service needs, but also to retain the workforce to reduce the number of Maori workers shifting to mainstream services for better pay."

Rowena Gotty says there has been a long standing battle with the Government to recognise the huge value that Maori, community and voluntary sector organisations provide for our communities.

She says the sustainability of Māori service providers is critical for the communities they are supporting.

"It is not good enough to be funded by annual contracts for services. In addition to the uncertainty of actually being able to deliver a service from year to year reporting requirements are prohibitive," she says.

During the negotiation process the 27 employer representatives representing 60 Māori and iwi health care providers and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation have built a strong relationship based on tikanga and partnership. This is reflected in the agreed name of the document Te Rau Kōkiri.

The document calls for increased funding to ensure that the services the Government is contracting for are paid for in full.

Lauren James says the Government also needs to commit to streamline the reporting processes.

"In the long term, there needs to be a change of focus to building the capacity and capability of Māori Service Providers. This means funding organisations fully for the services they are providing so there is certainty for those running the organisation, those working for it, and those who rely on its services and support," she says.

Representatives of the employers and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation will deliver a petition to Parliament at 1pm on Thursday 29 May 2008 calling for more funding.


ENDS
MEDIA STATEMENT
For immediate release

28 May 2008


Government must deliver pay parity to Maori, iwi and nonprofit organisations if they want continued services

Māori, iwi and Nonprofit Primary Health Care Providers are calling on the Government to deliver pay parity to nonprofit healthcare workers.

60 Māori and Iwi Primary Health providers have been working in partnership with members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation for a multi-employer collective agreement (MECA).

Representatives of the employers and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation will deliver a petition calling for more funding to Parliament at 1pm on Thursday 29 May 2008.

Rowena Gotty, a spokesperson for the employer's representatives, says pay parity is an issue for all Maori, community and voluntary sector organisations.

"We are calling for pay parity with district health boards (DHB) in recognition that Māori health workers are providing exactly the same service as their DHB counterparts.

This follows the 2004 historic fair pay settlement with DHBs which brought pay increases of over 20%. The settlement closed the pay gap between DHB employed nurses, midwives and health care assistants and other professionals in roles requiring similar skills, experience and qualifications, such as teachers and police.

The Government provided the necessary additional funding for the settlement. But primary health workers were left behind, with a registered nurse in a DHB receiving up to $160 more a week than a registered nurse in primary health.

Lauren James, a spokesperson for the employers representatives, says there is a deep hypocrisy in the fact that the Government in not recognising the enormous value and special skills and knowledge held by kaupapa Māori health workers.

"They are actually penalising Māori health care workers for choosing to work for Maori and iwi organisations over Government organisations," Lauren James says.
"This is despite the fact that the Government relies heavily on Māori health providers, and other Sector organisations to provide core social services in Aotearoa New Zealand."

Māori Primary Health Care Providers are delivering a huge range of services throughout the country, including health promotion, Tamariki Ora, Homebased Support, child and adolescent services, GP Services, including mobile practice nurses.

Lauren James says Maori disease prevalence rates are high and their life expectancy is lower than other ethnic groups.

"The Government knows this and continues to remind providers about the strategies it has set to improve Maori health gain. However, in order to meet the strategic goals, an equal amount of resources is required not only to provide Maori providers with the capacity to meet service needs, but also to retain the workforce to reduce the number of Maori workers shifting to mainstream services for better pay."

Rowena Gotty says there has been a long standing battle with the Government to recognise the huge value that Maori, community and voluntary sector organisations provide for our communities.

She says the sustainability of Māori service providers is critical for the communities they are supporting.

"It is not good enough to be funded by annual contracts for services. In addition to the uncertainty of actually being able to deliver a service from year to year reporting requirements are prohibitive," she says.

During the negotiation process the 27 employer representatives representing 60 Māori and iwi health care providers and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation have built a strong relationship based on tikanga and partnership. This is reflected in the agreed name of the document Te Rau Kōkiri.

The document calls for increased funding to ensure that the services the Government is contracting for are paid for in full.

Lauren James says the Government also needs to commit to streamline the reporting processes.

"In the long term, there needs to be a change of focus to building the capacity and capability of Māori Service Providers. This means funding organisations fully for the services they are providing so there is certainty for those running the organisation, those working for it, and those who rely on its services and support," she says.

Representatives of the employers and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation will deliver a petition to Parliament at 1pm on Thursday 29 May 2008 calling for more funding.


ENDS

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