Addressing historical underfunding for disability support
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PSA MEDIA RELEASE
15th May 2012 - For Immediate Use
New disability money will go some way towards addressing historical underfunding
The PSA is welcoming a boost for disability support services saying it will go some way towards addressing the inequity and historical underfunding in support for people with disabilities.
The government has just announced that the budget will contain $132 million dollars in new spending over the next four years for disability services.
The PSA represents thousands of disability support workers in home, community and residential support services. They work to support some of the country’s most vulnerable people but their skills have been historically undervalued and they are among the lowest paid workers in the country.
“This funding boost will go some way towards addressing some of those issues but in reality it is just a small catch up on years of underfunding,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.
“This is a sector which has been chronically underfunded by government for years. While it’s good to see steps being taken to rectify that, a lot more will be needed to ensure that workers get decent wages and providers are well funded so that people with disabilities have access to the highest quality support services possible”.
“These workers are almost all women and their low wages reflect the pay gap between men and women.”
Earlier this year an historic equal pay decision across the Tasman gave care workers wage rises of between 19 and 41 percent.
“What would make a real difference in the disability support service sector would be for the government to take some meaningful action to close the pay gap in New Zealand,” says Mr Wagstaff.