Thank you health care workers

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, April 18th, 2017 - 28 comments
Categories: activism, health, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

Good news, long overdue:

Big pay rise for women: Deal likely to alarm private sector

About 55,000 low-paid workers, mainly women, are about to get one of the biggest pay rises ever after details of a historic pay equity settlement are revealed today.

This is a huge victory for health care workers, and for women. It is also a huge victory for “resurgent unions”. Will it alarm the private sector? I certainly hope so!

The deal will cost the Government more than $500 million a year when fully implemented in five years, assuming it is signed off by union members and the Cabinet.

The settlement will mean hefty pay increases from July in three government-funded service sectors which employ mainly women on low rates: aged residential care, home support, disability services.

For various reasons I have extensive experience seeing health care workers in action. So I’ll take this opportunity to add my personal thank you for the work that you do. You’re bloody brilliant. You deserve this pay rise, and much more.

28 comments on “Thank you health care workers”

  1. Ad 2

    Broke my ankle running down Wanaka’s Mt Iron with dog yesterday. All in favour of pay increases for health workers, especially over Easter.
    🙂

  2. red-blooded 3

    I’ve got huge admiration for the workers (mainly women) who provide in-home care for people with ongoing health problems, allowing them to live with as much independence and dignity as possible and in the end to die in their own homes, if that’s what they choose. I’ve also had dealings with a lot of these people – friendly, caring, reliable, flexible, practical, helpful and hugely undervalued. It’s a job that’s physically and emotionally demanding and that requires a really varied set of skills. Kia kaha to the women who took this case and to the union that supported them through the progress. Now the government has to step up and actually provide the funds.

  3. ropata 4

    You forgot to “hat tip” relevant threads in today’s Open Mike
    OAB:
    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-18042017/#comment-1321306

    Terry Win (an actual healthcare worker):
    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-18042017/#comment-1321321

  4. Cinny 5

    Health Care Workers improve and save lives, and for that I’m beyond grateful.
    You have cared for my elders when they were dying, you have enhanced the lives of those with disabilities and in rest homes. Without your work heavens knows what kind of quality of life people would have. But it’s not only the physical work, it’s the emotional support that has been shown from patients and clients right through to family and extended family.

    THANK YOU, you deserve this, it’s long over due.

  5. Craig H 6

    Well-deserved and props to the unions involved. I am a member of PSA, and it’s great to see them pitching in!

    Hopefully this makes it viable as a career option and there are fewer issues recruiting staff over time, and the sector’s reliance on migrant workers can be reduced.

  6. Guerilla Surgeon 7

    They looked after my aged dad pretty well. And for that alone I’d pay them more than we pay politicians.

  7. I am pleased to see this happening and a bit of bright news amongst all the crap on the international stage.

    So here is to these workers, though really they need a comprehensive deal:

    https://willnewzealandberight.com/2017/04/11/supporting-our-care-givers/

  8. Ethica 9

    Just make sure it actually happens. Hopefully, we can get some ongoing reports.

  9. seeker 10

    Wonderful thankyou post rOb, thankyou. Well done Kristine Bartlett and the SFWU, So well deserved. This helps all our female healthcare workers breathe a little more easily.

  10. The New Student 11

    Fantastic news. A win for our working males too; pay equity will hopefully attract more male workers, or at least remove the stigma of men doing ‘women’s work’. When in fact it’s everybody’s work.

    I say this because two young men i know who work as carers have faced a bit of stick for their “poor career choices”. Like, really? Somehow it’s dishonourable for a young man to work as a carer? I have to say, from what I gathered, neither of them wanted those jobs; it was all they could get. But they do them. And not too badly from the sounds of it.

    So good on you, enjoy that raise.

    • seeker 11.1

      Excellent comment new student, thanks for this vital observation. Male carers were very important for my severely disabled non verbal teens and growing adult male students, many of whom had no family around them.
      And thanks Terry Win for 40years of caring at such poor pay, you have really cared along with all our other selfless carers (this to Terry’s comment on open mike and linked to by ropata above at comment 4).

  11. adam 12

    MMMmmm – whilst this is good on the surface. Who is going to pay the price for this? The real cost, not the wages but the other costs that are associated with this.

    Disabled, and the people in care – that is who will pay. With less hours of contact, and agencies going for cheapest option providing a sub standard service.

    You are aware that most of this work has been contracted out under the privatisation model of neo-liberalism.

    • red-blooded 12.1

      …and that’s why I said “now the government has to step up and actually provide the funds”. Looks like a good pressure point leading up to the election, and certainly provides another good reason for getting out there and making sure that we change the government.

      • adam 12.1.1

        And one “economic crisis” – there is your excuses for the weak and the poor will be left behind.

        Not holding my breath that a change of government will help, it would be better than this rubbish. Then again at this point a kick in the head is better than this government, less chance of a concussion.

    • weka 12.2

      right there with you adam. I’ve been alternating between being very moved by such an amazing win, and deeply angry at the contexts and what this will mean esp if NACT get a 4th term. I’m not angry with Bartlett and E Tū at all, am very very happy for all the women whose lives will improve drastically now. I have more to say on the other but will leave it for now because I want them to have their time in the sun.

      • Johan 12.2.1

        Spin, spin and more spin, strange to see Jonathan Coleman with John Campbell on Checkpoint showing the gov’t as the good guys in this well deserved monetary gain, never mind the court cases, the union help and the fact that these people had to drag National across the line to achieve this deal.

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.3

      You hit the nail firmly on the head there adam.

      Those of us who have had our lives blighted by having to engage with the health and disability ‘industry’ will have understandable reservations about this ‘win’.

      “With less hours of contact, and agencies going for cheapest option providing a sub standard service.”

      Damn right.

      Already happening. Kathryn Ryan interview the other day with this person….

      “…Chris Sanders, the General Manager of Sprott House, a charitable Wellington residential care facility who says clients are increasingly coming to them – late, sometimes malnourished, and unable to care for themselves. She says in some cases people who can’t go to the toilet themselves never mind leave the house, are being refused residential care.”

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201839963/does-ccdhb‘s-ageing-in-place-policy-go-too-far

      I strongly recommend listening to this interview….mention made of the courage it took for Chris Sanders to speak out on her concerns.

      and….http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/328584/dhbs-'withholding'-people-from-rest-homes-association

      Meanwhile, while the InterRAI tool seems to be keeping those who perhaps need 24/7 support ‘aging in place’…funded supports for those at home are being cut back…

      Eligibility requirements are being tweaked and family are being expected to provide more unpaid support…..because…..back in 2013, in response to another drawn out battle for pay (never mind equity) the government passed this wee piece of legislative shit..www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0022/latest/whole.html

      70APurpose of this Part
      “(1)The purpose of this Part is to keep the funding of support services provided by persons to their family members within sustainable limits in order to give effect to the restraint imposed by section 3(2) and to affirm the principle that, in the context of the funding of support services, families generally have primary responsibility for the well-being of their family members.”

      Worth repeating….”and to affirm the principle that, in the context of the funding of support services, families generally have primary responsibility for the well-being of their family members.”

      I’d be holding off the celebrations…

  12. mauī 13

    Great stuff, there couldnt be any group more deserving of a pay rise.

    • Antoine 13.1

      +1

      Except maybe those who care for disabled family members at home? Hope something good will come their way as well

  13. NZJester 14

    They delayed it long enough. Now that it is an election year they are like look at this big generous move we have made. It was not until the workers got some union clout behind them and threats of legal action that they even decided to negotiate.
    Most of the big stuff lately like the extra funding for more police and this are all things basically forced upon the government by strong public opinion. Opinion in non-election years they have ignored.

  14. timeforacupoftea 15

    Congratulations !
    This is fantastic for these workers.

    Heres my story !
    I remember a way back in 1971 ( Holyoake / Marshal GVT when my husband, a A grade mechanic and I working as a student in the hospital health profession, when our unions got us major increases to our award wages. He got a 42% wage increase and I got a 46% wage increase, I was still earning more than him even though I was a student.
    Things were very tight before the increase our rent was $12 per week for a one bedroom flat with kitchen dinning room and large lounge all open living and a very large bathroom/toilet, never seen one since so large and a large bath to equal the room size, so we looked for a boarder. We found a man through the church 20 years older than myself he was waiting for his devorce to come through ( I think they took 6 years back then ) he paid our rent. We ran into hot water problems though, as the water heater only held 20 gallons and with such a large bath we decided that the three of us would bath together so the water level would rise. So set bath times every night, 9.30pm unless we were going out which was 7pm. haaaaa such trivia but great fun times for me “blush”.

    Moving on.
    Anyway we saved like mad and had enough for a deposit for a brand new house by late 1973.
    But then, INFLATION took off, INFLATION INFLATION INFLATION that dirty word through the Kirk GVT house trebled in value, Inflation continued under Muldoon GVT etc etc until 1986 and then the sharemarket crash.
    Is this the start to high interest rates again ? I hope not but would help me now as I will retire when I feel like it but not now.

  15. mosa 16

    Great post rOb Great result.

    ” Resurgent unions ” YEE HAAAAAA

    Its about time.

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