Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says it is highly symbolic that Prime Minister John Key was in Los Angeles dining with Warner Brothers at same time as Kiwirail workers at Dunedin’s Hillside workshops were being handed their redundancy letters.
I urge the government to tell the Aged Care Association and Terranova Homes and Care Ltd not to appeal the ruling of the Employment Court on the application of the Equal Pay Act to the wages of aged care workers.
Unfortunately because this work has largely been performed by kind hearted women, care workers are amongst the lowest paid workers in New Zealand. Care workers pay rates do not reflect the value of the work performed nor do they reflect the value society should place on our elderly receiving the best standards of care and attention.
The Employment Court ruling will change aged care for the better. It is a landmark decision and cause for celebration.
I accept that current funding levels may not be adequate for organizations to comply with the Employment Court ruling. However this is a separate issue that needs to be addressed by the government in purchasing agreements with aged care service providers. It should not be used as a reason to appeal the ruling.
New Zealanders have made it clear they want our elderly to have the best of care. I feel they would have no issue with the government paying the increased costs out of taxpayers funding if it meant aged care workers received the pay they deserve for the valuable work that they do.