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.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Commerce Commission investigates Ron Hoy Fong
    The decision by the Commerce Commission to investigate Ron Hoy Fong and his questionable advice to property investors to use fake names and target ‘dummies’ is good news, Labour’s spokesperson on Consumer Affairs Michael Wood says.  “I am pleased that ...
    2 days ago
  • National running out of excuses on Pike
    The latest Pike River revelations further erode National's position of blocking a manned re-entry of the Pike River Mine drift, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats’ Budget locks in housing crisis
    National’s ninth Budget forecasts house prices will rise at three times the rate of wages, locking in the housing crisis for years to come, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “After nine years, all National can offer is a ...
    2 days ago
  • Small change that is sorely needed
    The big headline of the Government’s Budget yesterday was its Family Incomes Package – a range of measures including changes to income tax thresholds and the Family Tax Credit. Overall the Budget is a huge disappointment and a missed opportunity ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Kids bear the brunt of Budget
    Future generations are the ones bearing the brunt of National’s failure to provide education services the funding they need to make ends meet, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “For nine years in a row the Government has told our ...
    2 days ago
  • The real costs of National’s election bribe
    The cost of National’s poorly-targeted election year budget bribe is that there’s nothing to fix the housing crisis, health funding is cut, and funding for schools is cut, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “As the dust begins to settle ...
    3 days ago
  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    3 days ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    3 days ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    4 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    4 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    4 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    5 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    6 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    6 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    6 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    3 weeks ago