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Redwood Lodge Staff Set To Strike

Redwood Lodge Staff Set To Strike

New Zealand Nurses Organisation members at Rotorua’s Redwood Lodge Rest Home and Hospital will walk off the job for 24 hours tomorrow seeking minimum staffing levels in their collective agreement.

Their employer, NZ Lifecare will not agree to the level of staffing NZNO members believe is necessary for the safety and quality care of the elderly residents.

“This is an example of a corporate shortchanging staff and residents and putting profit before caregivers’ wages and adequate staffing levels to ensure residents’ care,” said NZNO organiser Shane Vugler.

Shane Vugler said NZ Lifecare’s profit margins were high in commercial terms, with the company spending just 50% on staffing costs, compared to the 66% - 70% recommended in the Ministry of Health’s funding model.

“When a corprporate such as NZ Lifecare drives staffing costs down to 50% it must impact on the quality of care,” said Shane Vugler.

Shane Vugler said many elderly residents in Redwood and across the sector were unable to advocate for themselves.

“The New Zealand public needs to be aware that this is how some corporates in the sector are conducting their business,” he said.

“Contracts stipulating adequate standards need to be built into contracts between the Ministry of Health and the providers to guarantee standards of quality care.”

Redwood staff are also angry at their pay offer from NZ Lifecare Ltd.

Their employer’s offer would bring the hourly rate for most staff to $10.60, and that offer comes with a condition of cutting weekend allowances.

Redwood staff will picket the home from 7am-6pm tomorrow.

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