Govt to negotiate settlement for care workers travel time

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The Public Service Association is welcoming the Government’s decision to begin negotiations for a sector-wide settlement over travel time for home care workers.

Currently, thousands of home care workers are only paid for the time they are in client’s homes, and not for the time spent travelling between them.

Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, says “the PSA looks forward to sitting around the table with the Ministry of Health, DHBs, and contracted providers to find a solution that works for everyone.”

“The PSA filed a case on this matter with the Employment Relations Authority for one of our members, but a negotiated sector wide settlement is preferable to a lengthy legal process.

“Some of our members in the home care sector have to drive 600km per week between jobs, but at the moment they are not paid for this time.

“Workers being paid close to the minimum wage have been effectively subsidising their employers in this issue which has dogged the sector for decades.

“The PSA, alongside the CTU and SFWU, will negotiate on behalf of the thousands of workers we represent to find a solution.

“Our members in home care do valuable work looking after some of our most vulnerable members of society, and they should be treated fairly,” said Richard Wagstaff.