14 February 2013: A living wage of at least $18.40 an hour for a family with two children and both adults working (one full time and one part time) must be supported by employers and the Government says the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO).
NZNO industrial services manager, Cee Payne says, “NZNO has 46 000 members throughout the country working as nurses, midwives, kaimahi hauora, health care workers and allied health professionals. A much larger number than one might expect are struggling at or well below the living wage.”
“Aged care workers in particular are paid at, or only slightly above, the minimum wage of $13.50 an hour. We expect these workers to provide excellent care for our elders, while at the same time ignoring the fact that they are living in poverty.”
“Poverty is the root cause of much ill health and inequality in this country. Those who are struggling to survive on incredibly low wages are also the people who face barriers to accessing health care, education and other social services when and where they need them,” Payne says.
“Committing to a living wage of $18.40 would be an investment in New Zealand’s workforce, with benefits coming from higher productivity, lower staff turnover and a reduction in spending needed for health and other social issues.”