Caregivers Supported in Demand for a Fair Deal

Press Release – Council of Trade Unions

Council of Trade Unions Women’s Council spokesperson, Sheryl Cadman expressed strong support for 1500 caregivers employed by New Zealand’s biggest aged care provider Oceania.29 February 2012

Caregivers Supported in Demand for a Fair Deal

Council of Trade Unions Women’s Council spokesperson, Sheryl Cadman expressed strong support for 1500 caregivers employed by New Zealand’s biggest aged care provider Oceania. After months of talks and no better offers, these caregivers have been forced to take industrial action to protest Oceania’s employer’s pay offer of 1% for three years.

“We fully support them and their decision to take action” said Cadman, “Oceania is literally holding back government funding in the form of wages from these workers as the principle source of funding for Oceania’s home and hospital facilities comes from Government. Increases in government funding should flow to the workers”.

“Caregiving is hard physical and emotional work and work that society expects extremely high standards from, yet caregivers’ wages are on average about $10.00 below the average hourly wage rate. Oceania staff, primarily women are paid as low as $13.61 an hour. This is blatant and continued undervaluing and underpayment of women’s work. The caregivers are effectively subsiding Oceania.”

The dispute clearly shows the need for accountability of Government funding and that big chains receiving government funding should be required to pass on increases in a transparent way to their workforce who provide the care.

“We applaud the workers’ action bringing the mean-spirited behaviour of Oceania into the public eye. This was not an easy decision for these caregivers to make. The caregivers have our total support– we know how hard they work and we admire their courage” said Sheryl Cadman.

ENDS

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