Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Unions mark Intl Day of Persons with Disabilities

PSA SFWU Joint Media RELEASE

December 3, 2009
For Immediate Use

Unions mark ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’

The Public Service Association and the Service and Food Workers Union are marking the ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ by calling on the government to address long-standing funding problems for the disability support sector.

Today - December 3 - is the ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ promoted worldwide by the United Nations.

In his message to mark the day UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon states: “We are all vulnerable to disability, temporary or permanent, especially as we grow older. In most countries, at least one person in 10 is disabled by physical, mental or sensory impairment. A quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability, as care-givers or family members.”

“In New Zealand more than 110,000 people rely on support from a disability support worker because of the extent of their disabilities,” says PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“These disability support workers provide medical support, meals, personal care and domestic help on a daily basis to more than 110,000 disabled New Zealanders.”

“Some disabled New Zealanders need this support 24 hours a day seven days a week.”

“This is difficult and demanding work that makes a huge difference to the quality of life of people incapacitated by disabilities.” says SFWU general secretary John Ryall.

“For this complex and challenging work disability support workers are paid as little as $12.50 an hour, which is the minimum amount an employer can pay an adult worker in New Zealand.”

“This is due primarily to a lack of funding from the government and the complicated and confusing way that the disability sector is funded,” says John Ryall.

“A job evaluation we commissioned shows that disability workers are underpaid,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The evaluation showed that work done by disability support workers supporting people with intellectual disabilities living in community houses, is similar in size and value to the work done by corrections officers working in prisons.

When the evaluation was released in April last year the national average top pay rate for a disability community support worker was $17,500 a year less than a corrections officer.

“Disability support workers are paid thousands of dollars a year less than corrections officers despite an evaluation showing their do work of a similar size and value,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“This huge pay gap shows the urgent need for the government to address the disability sector’s funding problems,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA and SFWU have 7000 members working as disability support workers.

The PSA and SFWU are running a joint campaign to improve the pay and working conditions for disability support workers. The two unions have prepared a paper on the disability sector and the issues driving the underpayment of its workers. A copy of the paper is being issued with this release.
The paper is being sent to all Members of Parliament – including Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia and Health Minister Tony Ryall - and disability sector employers.

Raising the status of disability support work (pdf)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO: