INDEPENDENT NEWS

Coalition Asks the Labour To Play Fair

Published: Sun 14 Nov 2004 04:59 PM
MEDIA RELEASE
Provider Representative Coalition Asks the Labour Government To Play Fair.
The Provider Representative Coalition for residential aged care and private hospitals today rejected the Labour led-Government’s recent one percent funding offer saying that they want three percent and a commitment to work with the care sector to address the present funding crisis.
The aged care industry is in crisis due to chronic under-funding, with more and more facilities closing their doors due to increasing costs and compliance pressures, and the inability to attract highly qualified and trained staff.
“We have repeatedly asked the DHBs and their masters the Labour Government to show us their reasons for the 1% offer in light of 3% inflation, but to date we have not had a satisfactory response.”
“This lack of transparency and good faith means we cannot ask our members to accept a 1% increase because we just do not know how they arrived at that figure”
“Workers are leaving the industry in droves as they seek higher paid employment with local DHBs, who are able to offer significantly better wages to caregivers” says Max Robins, President of the New Zealand Private Hospital Association.
The vulnerable elderly and the people who work in the aged care industry are ultimately the losers in this situation.
“How can our providers give pay increases to their employees when we are not being funded to do so – its putting providers in an impossible position with caregivers and their Unions”,
“The government may or may not be aware but tension caused by this lack of funding is sowing the seeds for future industrial action in the coming year”, says Simon O’Dowd Chairman of Residential Care New Zealand The Provider Coalition acknowledges that desperation from DHBs will force many facilities to accept the 1% offer.
“For many of our providers, especially the small owner operator, or religious and welfare provider, there is no choice because without the extra 88 cents a day per person they will be force to close, for them it’s about keeping the wolf from the door for another few months”, say Gillian Bremner New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
The Provider Coalition wants the Government to show leadership and agree to work with them in developing a fair and sustainable funding basis for the sector.
“To address this crisis we need top level engagement with the Government in a tripartite forum. This forum needs to be attended by Ministers, DHBs, and provider representatives”.
“Once all these parties sit at the same table we will be able to work towards gaining a common understanding of the issues and then from there we can creatively work together for the benefit of the elderly, employees and providers”, says Martin Taylor CEO of Residential Care NZ.
“All we want is for our providers, employees and elderly to get a fair deal and to be treated in good faith by a Labour led government”, says Victoria Brown Chairperson of Association Residential Care Homes.
The Provider Coalition will re-assess their position after the Government and the DHBs act in good faith, formally consider our three percent offer, and work with us in the appropriate forum to achieve a fair deal for all.
The Provider Representative Coalition collectively represents almost all private hospitals and resthomes in New Zealand. The Group comprises: The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, New Zealand Private Hospital Association, Residential Care New Zealand, JAG, and Association Residential Care Homes.
ENDS

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