Nelson disability support workers fed up with Te Whatu Ora - stop work planned for Saturday
Growing frustration with inadequate pay offers from Te Whatu Ora has prompted Nelson disability workers to hold a two-hour paid stop work meeting on Saturday 4 February.
"We have reached the end of our tether having been bargaining since the middle of last year," said Kate Davis, organiser for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.
"The offers to date fail to recognise the mahi our members do in caring and supporting people with high and complex needs.
"Te Whatu Ora is now refusing to return to the bargaining table to reach a settlement which is fair and reasonable given workers are facing big cost of living pressures on their household budgets. We have offered to take part in mediation, and this has been rejected.
"It’s just not fair when other support workers funded by Te Whatu Ora doing similar work in other parts of the country are paid more. Some have been offered more than $1000 as a one-off payment, whereas we have been offered a one-off payment of just $400.
"The 3% increase in pay rates on 1 July 2022 in the extension under the Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Amendment Act is not enough.
"These low paid essential health workers barely earn more than the minimum wage yet care for our most vulnerable. They need their work recognised and need a decent pay increase at a time of high inflation.
"It’s really affecting recruitment and retention. There are big shortages which means we can’t always deliver the services that our clients need to live quality lives. The shortages mean our members are working longer and harder than ever before without the rewards they deserve.
"We appreciate the stop work meeting will inconvenience some of our clients, but we feel Te Whatu Ora has pushed us to this position and we need a resolution as soon as possible."
- What: Disability support workers stop work meeting
- When: 10am Saturday 4 February
- Where: Beachside Conference Centre, 70 Beach Road, Tāhunanui
Note to media:
Media are welcome to attend the latter half of the meeting. If you wish to speak to disability support workers, please contact Kate Davis on 021 136 4220.