Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Time to find out who really cares about our elderly

Time to find out who really cares about our elderly


The lead-up to the 2014 General Election is a critical time to identify political priorities. The New Zealand Aged Care Association has collated responses from political parties on the pressing issue of underfunding for caregiver wages. The responses about their commitment to our elderly and their caregivers ranged significantly.

New Zealand First, the Green Party, Labour, the Conservative Party and United Future have all confirmed their support for achieving pay parity for caregivers in the aged care sector.

New Zealand First was the first to respond to the New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA) and expressed complete support for increased Government funding for caregiver wages.

“Labour and the Greens have both acknowledged the reality of the situation – that existing Government funding to the aged care sector simply does not cover what is needed to achieve pay parity,” says Martin Taylor, CEO of the New Zealand Aged Care Association. “As a result, these parties have also confirmed their support for increased Government funding for caregiver wages.”

United Future and the Conservative Party also responded with support for achieving pay parity for caregivers.

In contrast, National, who chose not to attend a recent Caring Counts Summit on the issue of caregiver wages, provided a hugely disappointing response to the NZACA on the issue.

“The National Party wrote this off as an issue between an employer and employee,” says Martin Taylor, CEO of the New Zealand Aged Care Association. “This is hugely disappointing, as this is simply not the case,” he says. “We have worked hard to communicate with the Government about current underfunding, which is resulting in a significant pay disparity – an issue which has remained unresolved for eight long years,” he says.

Caregivers working within DHB facilities receive a minimum of $17.50 per hour; over 30,000 caregivers working outside of DHB facilities receive on average only $15.31 per hour, to do the same job.

The funding requested over a three-year period equates to only 0.8% of the Government’s overall public health budget, or 11% of the surplus planned for the 2014/15 year.

“This week, more than 11,000 health workers from within DHB facilities have called for strike action over their wage rates. Wages for both DHB health workers and the aged care sector’s caregivers are directly tied to government funding. Our caregiver wage rates cannot be allowed to fall even further behind their DHB counterparts as a direct result of underfunding from our Government,” he says.

“The response from the Māori Party was also let-down,” says Taylor. “While the party outlined support for attention to minimum wages, there was no direct commitment to increasing funding for caregiver wages to achieve pay parity,” he says.

“I would urge anyone who cares about this important issue to use their vote wisely this election. If people are in a position to question our politicians on this matter, this is encouraged. Our website whocares.org.nz facilitates emailing our political parties on this important issue. We encourage everyone who cares about caregiver wages to do so,” says Taylor.

No response was received from the Internet MANA Party or from ACT.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

PM's Press Conference: Two More Troops?

Prime Minister Bill English gave a summary his highlights of last week’s budget announcement... The Prime minister was asked about NATO’s request for New Zealand to send two more personnel to Afghanistan and whether or not we will send them. More>>

ALSO:

Carer Settlement: Threat Of Staff Exodus In Mental Health

As a result of the recent pay rise awarded to their aged care and disability sector colleagues, many staff in non-government mental health and addiction organisations are considering leaving to join these workforces. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Policy: New Zealand Set To Blow Its Carbon Budget By 27%

The Government’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows New Zealand is set to release 647.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions between 2013 and 2020 – 137 million tonnes more than we are allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Christchurch Considers Cathedral, Stadium: Cathedral Working Group Report Released

“About half of Christchurch wants to see the cathedral reinstated, the other half wants something new and more modern, but really, everyone just needs a decision." More>>

ALSO:

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election