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United Future supports a fair share for aged care

Thursday, 30 November 2006

United Future supports a fair share for aged care

United Future leader Peter Dunne says his party is right behind the Fair Share for Aged Care campaign being run by the Service Workers Union.

"We have been urging the government in its last two Budgets to increase funding to the aged care sector so that wage rates can be increased to keep them on a par with the state sector, and we will be doing so again for the coming Budget.

"It is simply not good enough to be paying caregivers, often with many years of experience and training behind them, as little as $11.08 an hour, as is the case at present, especially when they are caring for the most vulnerable members of our society."

"The workers in this sector ? mainly women ? are decent, hardworking New Zealanders with a passion for the care of the elderly.

"Their tasks are often arduous and thankless, but they perform a vital community service that should be recognised," he says.

Mr Dunne says he was stunned to learn that the starting rate for workers at the Wellington City Pound was over 43% higher than the rate for caregivers in the aged care sector.

"While I do not begrudge the pound workers their income, I am horrified what the disparity says about the relative priority we attach to the care of the frail elderly and the care of animals," he says.


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