Victory for the vulnerable! PSA celebrates win for home support workers

Tags:

Home support workers will get better recognition for the crucial work they do for some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people - with legislation and a settlement package finally signed off.

The Home and Community Support Settlement Act confirms workers will be paid for the time they spend travelling between clients and receive compensation for mileage they accrue.

In addition, a settlement agreement between unions, the Ministry of Health, DHBs and providers will provide for a transition to guaranteed working hours, training and wages based on qualifications.

"The combination of the Bill and the settlement agreement will see home support workers getting the deal they deserve," PSA Assistant Secretary Kerry Davies says.

The new arrangements will affect 23,000 people working in the sector - nearly all of them are women, and almost half are on minimum wage.

Home care worker and PSA delegate Jenny Goodman’s legal case kicked off more than two years of negotiations, and she’s delighted.

"The negotiations were undertaken by the PSA and E Tū, but everyone in the sector will benefit," she says.

"Home support makes a huge difference to people’s lives and it also saves the government millions by keeping them out of rest-homes and hospital.

"We don’t do this job to get rich, we do it for the sense of achievement - but this will give us all a fair go, and ensure quality care for years to come."