Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, July 1st, 2017 - 15 comments
Categories: class war, health, national, Unions, useless, wages, workers' rights - Tags: health cuts, liars, newsroom, pay equity, trust
After a long legal struggle, in an outcome described as a victory for resurgent unions, health care workers won a much deserved and significant pay increase. Brazenly, the Nats tried to claim the credit for a move they fought against tooth and nail. And now, this:
Long overdue pay rate increases affecting 55,000 New Zealand care and support workers kick in on July 1. But the Government’s failure to fully fund the changes is threatening to derail service providers
The $2 billion pay equity deal was hailed as a triumph for under-paid care workers and a capitulation by Government funders – but as the July 1 deadline for pay equity arrives, it’s becoming clear this was a hollow victory for the sector. In many cases the money – estimated to be at least $250 million for just one group of service providers – won’t be coming, and some providers will go under as they struggle with the reality of higher wage bills and training costs.
That’s bastard politics that is.
Emails and letters provided to Newsroom detail the Ministry of Health’s persistent avoidance in confirming funding amounts to providers, as well as admissions that its “funding model” does leave some outfits out of pocket. Furthermore, the Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act, which took only two weeks to be passed into law, has ensured providers have minimal say at the contract negotiating table.
In April, when Health Minister Jonathan Coleman proudly announced the $2 billion pay equity settlement, Kristine Bartlett – whose 2012 pay equity claim with aged care provider TerraNova set in motion the five-year fight that culminated in the May agreement – held back tears as she spoke of the occasion: “I’m so happy for the care and support workers. Because for so long we’ve been struggling … but we did it.”
At the time, Coleman didn’t miss a beat – calling the pay equity settlement “an historic moment for the Government to address this undervaluing with Ms Bartlett and the unions”.
Since then, four sector organisations – the New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA), the New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN), Care Association New Zealand (CANZ) and the Home and Community Health Association (HCHA) – have been in continuous communication with MPs, the Ministry of Health, DHBs and ACC about the millions of dollars missing in funding for the pay equity changes.
So far, none of the organisations has been given the exact information that shows how the Ministry of Health and ACC devised its funding models and calculated the extra costs related to the pay equity changes. Newsroom also asked for the information, and was refused by the Ministry on the grounds it was “commercially sensitive”. …
This is yet more excellent reporting from Newsroom (Teuila Fuatai). Read on for plenty more, and Coleman’s denials.
We can’t trust National on anything.
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