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Premature Strike Action In Aged Residential Care

16 September 2005

Premature Strike Action In Aged Residential Care

This week the NZNO and SFWU delivered strike action notices to two of the countries largest aged residential care providers. The strike action is set to occur in late September and will involve hundreds of workers and affect many facilities.

"These moves by the NZ Nurses Organization and the Service and Food Workers Union to force providers into paying higher wages are premature. Providers cannot even consider paying a wage increase until DHBs pass on the $71 million they were allocated for aged residential care in the budget", said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

"It is ironic that the unions are issuing strike notices whilst negotiations are taking place between Provider Representatives and DHBNZ. It's ironic because DHBNZ to date have refused to offer a funding increase despite receiving $71 million in this years budget", said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

Furthermore, DHBNZ have refused point blank to consider an automatic inflation adjustment for aged care providers, despite receiving a guaranteed inflation adjustment themselves.

"Providers accept that caregivers wages are low, but the aged residential care sector is in crisis, it's under funded by over 20%, and losing nurses to DHB hospitals because of the NZNO MECA", said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

"The unions can squeeze all they like, but there will be no money for wage increases until DHBs do the right thing and pass on the money they received in the budget for aged residential care. It's as simple as that", said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

ENDS

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