Nurse Maude Home Care & Support Workers Rally For Fair Pay & Better Working Conditions
Nurse Maude home support workers and members of the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi are today attending rallies in Porirua, Nelson, and Christchurch to push for fair pay and better conditions.
"At some point in our lives, all of us need a little extra care around us to live well at home. Whether we’re in our older years, we’ve been ill or injured, live with complex health needs or recently had surgery, home support workers make a huge difference," said PSA Assistant Secretary Melissa Woolley.
But the pay and conditions for home support workers at Nurse Maude is putting them under huge strain and making it challenging to support clients well.
"We’ve been trying to agree on a new collective agreement for two years and we still don’t have an offer we can accept. Nurse Maude isn't offering any pay increase despite the cost-of-living crisis. They are only offering very small lump sum payments of $350 or less - before tax - which, for most workers, doesn't cover a week’s rent," said Woolley.
"We are calling on Nurse Maude to offer a fair pay rise, better conditions, and a new collective agreement.
"With the inflation rate still high at 6%, workers need a pay increase as soon as possible. Starting rates for home support workers - which are set by the Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Act - were overtaken by increases to the minimum wage. Home support workers are struggling to keep a roof overhead and food on the table."
Carena Scott, a PSA Delegate in Nelson has worked for Nurse Maude for nearly four years.
"Every day we see how our work helps the people we care for. When the conditions we work under support us to work well, it makes a big difference to the lives of our clients.
"My mortgage just went up $240 a fortnight so that’s putting a real squeeze on me and I’m no different from many of my colleagues. Life is tough right now and a fair pay rise doesn’t seem too much to ask for."
Unions lodged a representative pay equity claim for care and support workers 1 July 2022 and are lobbying for the current Care and Support Workers Pay Equity Settlement Act to be extended to ensure all support workers get the pay equity rates they deserve at the same time.
Rallies are taking place from 2pm - 3pm Friday 21 July in these locations:
Porirua: Meet in front of Porirua North City Shopping Centre, main top parking area, 2 Titahi Bay Road
Nelson: Nurse Maude office, 4 Kidson Place, Stoke
Christchurch: Meet at the corner of Papanui Road and Mansfield Ave
The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is Aotearoa New Zealand's largest trade union, representing and supporting more than 88,000 workers across central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups.
For more information contact:
Mike Jaspers | Communications, PSA
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +64 (0)27 677 8875