12 June 2012:
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and the Service and Food Workers Union today announced the settlement of a nine-month pay dispute with the Oceania rest home group.
SFWU spokesperson Alastair Duncan said the settlement secured a 3.22% pay raise for 1500 union members employed by Oceania. The settlement also saw the protection of overtime and other rights which the employer had sought to reduce.
“The key issue in this dispute was getting government money passed on to the workforce and we are pleased that Oceania has now understood the need to pass on the funding it receives from District Health Boards to the care staff,” said Alastair Duncan.
Alastair Duncan says the fact that it took nine months of conflict was disappointing and highlighted a sector wide problem of underfunding and a lack of focus on the true value of care staff.
“We now look forward to working with Oceania, and other aged care employers, to ensure the sector does its utmost to persuade the government to increase the funding levels for what is one of this country’s fastest growing industries,” NZNO spokesperson David Wait said.
Both unions say the recently released Human Rights Commission led by Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Judy McGregor enquiry into the sector provides a timely opportunity for unions and employers to work together.
“The desperate need for better funding, safe staffing and mandatory training and support are all highlighted in the report,” David Wait said.
“As the largest care provider in the sector we expect Oceania to use its influence to engage with the government and DHBs so that there truly can be a ‘fair share, for aged care’,” Alastair Duncan said.
For more information contact:
Alastair Duncan 0272 456 593 or David Wait 0274 810 514