Sorry Mr Farrar, We Disagree

Pay rates should primarily be determined by demand and supply – not by legislation, so says prominent blogger David Farrar. This is why he objects to the Employment Court ruling that aged care workers are entitled to equal pay.

It is a point of view that does not sit well with the Alliance Party. Our commitment to the common good means that we believe that everyone is entitled to a liveable income no matter what. In any case for aged care workers, and many other occupations, the supply and demand ship has long since sailed. Continue reading

Care Work Is A Career Not Women’s Work Done On The Cheap

The Alliance Party is delighted that things are hotting up in the equal pay for aged care workers campaign. The appeal to the Employment Court ruling is due to be heard at the end of January. Many more workers have come forward and further applications have been lodged with the Employment Relations Authority. According the unions involved, thousands more are expected to join the action in the new year. Continue reading

Please Don’t Appeal the Employment Court’s Aged Care Worker Gender Pay Decision

There is no excuse for the appalling wages paid to workers in the aged care and disability sectors. It is blatant discrimination against the – mainly – women who do the work and the people they work with; the elderly and people with disabilities.

At the very least care workers deserve to receive the living wage of $18.40 per hour. But in the long term they should receive a wage commensurate with more male dominated sectors requiring similar skills such as justice and mental health. Continue reading

The Devil is in the Detail of the Family Carers Bill

The disability sector finally thought that the Government would deliver on its promised backdown over paying family carers of adult disabled people. The National-­led Government announced, as part of Budget 2013, $23 million a year to pay family carers of high ­needs disabled adults.

This was initially welcomed by carers, their support networks, and the wider disability community. The announcement followed the Government’s decision not to appeal the Atkinson Case, so­-named after the family carer of a disabled person who first took the Government to the Human Rights Commission nearly 10 years ago over this issue.

From where I sit as a disabled person, Finance Minister Bill English and Health Minister Tony Ryall had seemingly made one of the few more positive announcements from the Budget. However, as the old saying goes, the devil is in the detail. Continue reading

A Solid Look at SOEs

Solid Energy is going down the gurgler, NZ Post is trying to get out of delivering mail, KiwiRail is closing railway lines and ordering all its new stock from offshore, and Mighty River Power is throwing money at exploration work in Chile – $250 million to date and growing – desperate to find a viable geothermal field to exploit Chileans facing power price hikes because of drought conditions.

What do all these entities have in common?  They’re all State Owned Enterprises working against the best interests of New Zealand. Continue reading