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Strikes against Presbyterian Support unreasonable

PRESS RELEASE

19 October 2005

Strikes against Presbyterian Support Rest Homes unreasonable

Union-led strikes in Presbyterian Support-run rest homes are premature and unreasonable.

HealthCare Providers NZ said today that private rest home providers don’t know how much money they have until District Health Boards’ pass on the $71 million they received from the Government in this year’s Budget.

“We are in the middle of negotiations with DHBs to pass on the Budget funding. DHBs have made no offer and won’t make any offer until the Minister is happy with what they are going to provide to us,” said HealthCare Providers Chief Executive Martin Taylor.

“Providers have had to put up with years of underfunding and are operating on ever-decreasing margins. They cannot afford to pay more.”

He added that the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation, which is pushing for the strike action, have acknowledged this. “The strikes taking place in the sector are completely unreasonable because they know this funding hasn’t gone to providers.”

“The unions should be focused on getting the Government to fund nurse and caregiver wages in the private sector at NZNO MECA rates. Until this happens, industrial action in the sector is only going to get worse because aged care providers are not funded at the appropriate level to satisfy union demands”, Mr Taylor said.

ENDS

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