Care for the Caregivers

Press Release – New Zealand First Party

New Zealand First supports efforts by nurses and caregivers seeking adequate compensation for looking after the aged and vulnerable in rest homes. Brendan Horan

New Zealand First MP 1 March 2012 CARE FOR THE CAREGIVERS – NZ FIRST

New Zealand First supports efforts by nurses and caregivers seeking adequate compensation for looking after the aged and vulnerable in rest homes.

Fifteen hundred care staff from the largest rest home operator Oceania are striking after eight months of failed negotiations

“Pay rates at Oceania are significantly lower than District Health Board staff. Nine hundred are on hourly rates of $14.03 or lower, with 600 on $13.61 – only 11 cents higher than the minimum wage,” says Industrial Relations spokesperson Brendan Horan.

“These people look after and provide care for our vulnerable senior citizens and to pay such paltry wages to caregivers is insulting and demeaning.

“Caregivers should be respected, appreciated and paid a decent living wage. Their work is essential in our community and at times can be very difficult and trying.

“Oceania receives large sums from taxpayers and New Zealand First has always strongly supported public money being spent on eldercare sector. However, the company seems to care more about its overseas shareholders than its staff.

“Staff perform a valuable social service and they should be adequately compensated,” says Mr Horan.

ENDS

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