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96% Of Disability Support Providers Need Government Help To Deliver Pay Equity Wage Rises

Disability Support providers say they’re at the government’s mercy to deliver Pay Equity wage increase, as any unfunded wage increases will negatively affect care and support, and force some providers to close.

A New Zealand Disability Support Network survey showed 96% of respondents couldn’t afford any wage increase for their care and support workers without government funding.

The survey asked “If a wage increase is agreed between the employers and unions, but is NOT funded by the government, what (if anything) could you afford?”, with just 4% indicating they could afford a wage increase of up to 10% for their care and support workers.

“It’s obvious that unless this funding is found, something will have to give,” said NZDSN CEO Peter Reynolds.

“59% of providers taking the survey indicated they couldn’t afford any unfunded wage without it impacting the very viability of services to disabled people in their care. It’s a pretty simple choice - fund Pay Equity, or affect the quality of care or number of people able to access disability support.”

44% of NZDSN members surveyed said they were part of at least one of three care and support worker pay equity claims.

“The survey results show how disability support providers are wholly reliant on government funding - there’s nowhere else the money to provide these services can come from,” said Peter Reynolds.

While some providers say they could afford a small unfunded wage increase, the vast majority simply can’t, with a significant number saying their service would quickly become unviable if they’re forced to lift wages without crucial government funding support.

“We’ve said from the start that any settlement of Pay Equity claims must be fully-funded by government – these numbers show the potential impact on disability support if that money isn’t found,” said Peter Reynolds.

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