Home support worker welcomes agreement between Govt, unions and providers

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Healthcare of New Zealand (HCNZ) worker and Public Service Association (PSA) member Jenny Goodman has welcomed the news that an agreement has been signed between the Government, workers and home support providers to resolve the travel time pay issue and improve working conditions in the sector.

Jenny’s legal case, currently before the Employment Relations Authority, sparked the negotiations which developed the agreement. As part of the agreement, Jenny’s case will be withdrawn, provided the agreement is ratified by workers, District Health Boards, and employers in the home and community support sector.

Jenny Goodman said “this agreement is a way forward for the sector, and takes some of the burden off the low-paid workforce,”

“I’m passionate about my work supporting clients to have the best possible lives, and I’m glad this work will be better recognised.

“The commitment to move towards better security of hours, a permanent workforce and better training and professional development are especially welcome.

“Paid travel time and consistent payment for the costs for using our own vehicles mean we will be better able to meet the costs of living.

Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “the PSA is proud to have members like Jenny, who can articulate the needs of their colleagues so effectively,”

“This agreement is a win-win for workers, for providers, and for the wider health sector, and shows how effective we can be when we work together for the common good.

“It is important that all home support workers attend the meetings in October and November, so that they can understand the agreement, what it means for them and to have their say.”

Peter Hausmann, HCNZ Chief Executive, said “workers like Jenny are the backbone of services provided in the community,”

“We’re looking forward to an agreed review that can create a sustainable future for this sector so older people and disabled citizens can remain healthy and safe in their own homes.

“Our workforce now has the opportunity to vote on this agreement, and we strongly urge them to attend the upcoming meetings.”