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Minimum Levels of Staffing Needed in Aged Care

Minimum Levels of Staffing Needed in Aged Care

"NZNO supports comments made on national radio this morning by the Executive Director of Residential Care NZ that the sector continues to be under funded and they would like to employ more staff and pay them more,” said New Zealand Nurses Organisation CEO Geoff Annals today.

Patrina Turner made the comments in response to planned industrial action by NZNO members at Rotorua’s Redwood Loge Rest Home over inadequate staffing levels and low pay.

Geoff Annals said NZNO was lobbying the government to increase funding to the sector and pursuing adequate staffing levels in collective agreement negotiations.

“NZNO has had an expectation that funding increases in the sector this year would be passed on in the form of pay increases to the caregivers in the aged care sector,” he said.

Shane Vugler NZNO organiser for Redwood Home, said minimum staffing hours and minimum staff levels were needed to ensure safe levels of care, reasonable work loads and safe working conditions for staff.

Geoff Annals said NZNO was taking a firm stand on the minimum staffing level necessary across the sector to provide good levels of care and working conditions.

“NZNO is taking this stand because the Ministry of Health's contract with health providers on numbers of staff and type of staff is woefully inadequate and there is no day to day checking by the Ministry to make sure that staffing levels are safe,” he said.

Geoff Annals said NZNO was seeking specifics on numbers of staff and type of staff in employment agreements and in regulations to improve care and quality in aged care.

“The Redwood dispute is a classic example of staff taking a stand on this issue,” he said.

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