24 October 2012:
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and the Service and Food Workers Union: Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU) are hopeful that quality care for older New Zealanders is a step closer today, after a successful select committee presentation.
Last year over 11000 New Zealanders signed a charter calling for safe staffing levels, fair pay and conditions for aged care workers, training and a guarantee that government funding is used for nursing and personal care of residents. Today members of the Health Select Committee were very interested in hearing about the solutions proposed by those who know the aged care sector best, nurses and health care assistants who work in rest homes.
NZNO spokesperson, Susan Stewart says, “Our members spoke passionately and articulately about the valuable work they do for our countries’ most vulnerable citizens and it was heartening to see how interested our members of Parliament were in the problems and solutions.”
“There was clearly cross-party agreement that the residential aged care sector needs attention. We hope they can continue to work together to make the changes that will ensure quality care for older New Zealanders and decent pay and working conditions for those who care for them.”
SFWU spokesperson Alastair Duncan agrees, “MPs asked insightful and useful questions of our members and spoke of their commitment to progress the calls of the Charter.”
“Now is a good time for the Government to take action. There is a groundswell of support for workers in aged care. The Human Rights Commission recently released a report with ten recommendations to make sure carers and those they care for are valued properly and an industry wide summit was held earlier this month.”
“The elderly deserve better. We have the solutions. Now, let’s see the action!”