VICTORY FOR HOME SUPPORT MEMBERS
SFWU members working in home support have won a huge victory after years of campaigning. The former Minister of Health Tony Ryall, along with providers, has signed a $38 million agreement with SFWU and the PSA providing for home support workers' travel time to be paid at least the minimum wage from 1 July 2015.
The agreement also includes an increase in the mileage allowance to a minimum of 50 cents an hour from 1 March 2016 and an annual review of these rates. Most importantly, it provides for an expert advisory group to work on how to implement guaranteed, secure hours of work for our home support members within 24 months of the agreement being signed.
Takaka home support worker and SFWU member, Patricia Martin, said the announcement was a victory for union members.
The plan will now go out to our members for ratification.
Minimum wage leaves thousands of working families in poverty
Posted On: Wednesday, 8 February 2012
“The Government’s announcement today that the minimum wage will rise by 50 cents an hour is a tragic disappointment for hard working families on the lowest rates,” said Service and Food Workers Union national secretary John Ryall.
“While any increase is better than nothing, this leaves thousands of working families in poverty and will increase inequality in New Zealand.”
John Ryall said many members of the SFWU, who are currently paid below or a few cents above the minimum wage, were already struggling to survive and feed their families.
He said many thousands of others who are paid around $14 have now had their hopes of a decent increase dashed by the Government’s announcement.
“Many of our members will remain below the minimum wage, even though they are performing vitally important roles, providing care for some of the most vulnerable New Zealanders. The fact is $13.50, or $14 an hour, are not a living wage,” said John Ryall.
“Increasingly New Zealanders are uniting around a call for a more equitable society, where all workers receive a living wage. Until the very lowest pay rates are increased, the equity gap will grow and with it, poverty in New Zealand.”
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