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Strikes Will Not Affect Residents’ Care

Media Statement From
Radius Residential Care

26 March 2012

Strikes Will Not Affect Residents’ Care

Industrial action planned by the New Zealand Nurses Union and the Service & Food Workers Union at some residential care homes operated by Radius Residential Care Ltd will not affect the standard of care for the elderly, says CEO Brien Cree.

“The action only affects a small number of our facilities and we have more than enough staff remaining on duty to maintain services,” he adds.

Stoppages of short duration will occur on Friday March 30th from 6.55am until 9.05am and Thursday April 5th from 8.30am until 10.30am. The action will take place at the following facilities:

Fulton Home (Dunedin)
St Winifreds & St Helenas (Christchurch)
Maeroa Lodge (Hamilton)
St Joans, Arran Court, Taupaki Gables (Auckland)
Potter Home, Lester Heights, Rimu Park (Whangarei)
Baycare (Pahia)

None of the other thirteen Radius Residential Care facilities are affected.

The union action follows unsuccessful pay talks and mediation.

Please note:

• Radius Residential Care is a 100% New Zealand owned company.
• Any wages increases come from indirect government funding via the DHB process.
• Radius has only been allocated 1.73% in fee increases from government which it has to fun any wage increase. It could only fund larger pay hikes by reducing costs elsewhere and thereby lowering the level and standard of care for its residents. This Radius is not prepared to do.
• There are sufficient numbers of non-union staff at Radius Care facilities to ensure normal levels of care and service are provided for residents during these stoppages.

Mr Cree makes the following points regarding various allegations made by the unions concerned:

• The profits in the Residential Care industry are not great and he only receives a salary and has taken no dividends from the company.
• Pay rates at Radius are not “the lowest” paid in the industry, they equate with rates paid by other providers. The union does not take into account allowances paid by Radius to staff as they achieve higher qualifications on the job.

Radius Care CEO Brien Cree says, “I have considerable sympathy for the workers and want to see them get a higher hourly rate but their argument is with the government and DHB process. I believe the government has historically unfunded the residential care industry by as much as 40%. That is just not good enough.”


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