The Aged Care Commissioner says pay parity for frontline community workers – many of whom work in aged care facilities – is long overdue and welcome.
Cabinet today announced ongoing funding of $200 m a year to bring pay parity for workers in places such as aged care facilities, hospices, and Māori and Pacific health care facilities.
Carolyn Cooper says chronic workforce shortages have been hindered by an uneven playing field particularly when recruiting nurses into the aged care sector.
“I welcome today’s announcement and believe this will bring not just immediate benefits to an overworked and undervalued workforce, but will also deliver more sustainability to the health and disability sector by making pay fairer and more competitive.
“Now those who choose to work with our precious older and disabled people are not penalised for that choice, and there will be greater potential to attract more staff to this sector. This will mean older people have a better quality of care and quality of life.
“Stabilising the home and community, and aged residential care sectors will ensure older and disabled people receive care where and when they need it and will reduce the numbers of people stranded in the public hospital system.
“Pay parity will also assist with attracting people to train as nurses - a much needed profession across the entire health and disability sector in NZ. We will now be better placed to develop a comprehensive longer-term strategy to ensure a sustainable aged care workforce to care for the growing ageing population”.
Ms Cooper adds a strong nursing workforce leads to better health outcomes for individuals, families, whānau and all communities across the motu.
“I am very optimistic now for the future of home and community support and aged residential care and look forward to working with the sector to deliver better outcomes for older New Zealanders needing care.”
28 November 2022