INDEPENDENT NEWS

Home care sector welcomes pay equity funding

Published: Tue 18 Apr 2017 04:54 PM
HCHA: media release, pay equity
Media Release. 18 April 2017
Home care sector welcomes pay equity funding
An estimated 24,000 home support workers are likely to receive meaningful increases in their take home pay from 1 July this year. The Home and Community Health Association congratulates the government on its decision to recognise the great care provided in home support, aged residential care, and disability support services. The HCHA recognises the central role of the unions and also the important contribution of provider groups, in working through the legal challenges and negotiations on this important issue of inequitable wages for care and support workers.
Under the agreement between the government and unions, employees will move onto a wage and qualifications pay scale. “For home support this more properly recognises the work that is done. It also incentivises employees to get qualifications earlier and to stay in this sector for longer” said Julie Haggie, Chief Executive of the HCHA, “It will lead to a well-trained, better paid and more stable care workforce. Home support organisations currently provide services to over 110,000 clients, many of whom live with major health challenges, or significant disabilities.
Ms Haggie adds that financial sustainability is the burning issue for employers. “The number of people being supported at home is growing, but our sector has suffered from very low levels of funding for service delivery over many years. This has made the provision of home support unsustainable under some contracts and marginal in most. Legislation will now lock providers into responsibility for paying workers according to the new pay scales. So employers will be keen to learn more about the funding package and to know that there will be sufficient funding to pay for wage uplifts.”
“Agreement is still needed on the mechanism for ensuring that the pay equity funding flows through the many different home support contracts across District Health Boards, the ACC and Ministry of Health Disability Support Services” says Ms Haggie. “More consistent contracting would solve many of the current problems.”
“That said, we welcome this funding package because it values our workforce and the people they support.”
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The Home and Community Health Association is the peak industry body for organisations that provide home and community support services. Members of HCHA provide over 95% of government contracted home and community support services.

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