Woman supports pay increase but thinks it is unfair that she now has to pay more for the service

CRAIG SIMCOX/FAIRFAX NZ
Some rest home residents face a hike in their rates to cover the impact of the pay equity settlement.

With an attitude common to Left-wingers everywhere a woman supported a huge pay increase for rest home caregivers but is very unhappy that she now has to pay more for her mother’s rest home care. She says that it is not fair that she should have to pay more. It is the same old story. People want more refugees, free university education, free medicine, free this and free that but they want other people to pay for it. They are very generous with other people’s money but think that it is unfair when it comes out of their pockets.

The impact of the pay equity settlement is massive and ongoing. The government claimed that they would be funding the difference but they are not funding it all so the cost of providing the difference is coming out of rest home owner’s pockets. Even worse they now are faced with having to increase their Nurses wages as the pay equity settlement means that caregivers are now earning almost as much as a nurse. The nurses aren’t happy so Rest homeowners are having to raise their hourly rate significantly in order to keep them. There will be no assistance from the government for that extra cost.

Overnight the cost of providing the service has skyrocketed and even worse it will apply to all holiday pay and leave that hadn’t been taken before the settlement came into force. This is a huge financial hit to the Rest home industry and it will put the smaller operators out of business.

Some rest home residents in Nelson are being hit in the pocket as the impact of the pay equity settlement for aged care workers takes effect.

The daughter of one woman in a Nelson rest home said the additional cost was a financial burden for those who were already struggling to meet the high cost of care.

From July, about 55,000 workers in aged residential care received pay increases from around $16 an hour to between $19 and $23.50, in what has been hailed as a victory for low income workers in the sector.

Her mother had entered rest home care after suffering a stroke last year. The woman said the care her mother received had been “fabulous” but it came at a cost.=

“As a person in this community I supported that increase, I thought the health care workers were due it.”

However she said it was unfair that cost had been passed on to some residents after the Government announced its $22 billion settlement.

The change meant her mother’s current monthly fee had increased by almost $400, from $4350.50 to $4744.70, which she said was an “enormous cost”.

As her mother is considered asset rich by the Government’s standards, she has to pay the full monthly cost for her care.

But the woman’s pension and the rent from the home she owned only covered half the costs so her family had to come up with the rest.

Her mother is one of the 11,070 rest home residents around the country who have assets worth more than $224,654 that will now contribute more than $42 million a year to the pay packets of aged care workers.

…”As rest homes, we are the meat in the sandwich, we don’t have any other option but to pass that cost on, we can’t absorb $90 a week for all the private paying residents and there are about 11,000 of them across the country.”

He said the association advised the Government there would be an impact on the private payers, and were told that those people could afford to pay, so they could afford to pay the increase.

He said for a number of aged care providers, the funding from the Government was not going to fully cover the increase in caregiver wages.

“Those most affected are smaller rest homes, those rest homes in rural areas and those that are run by faith-based organisations.”

He said the association was not against aged care workers being paid more and had supported the unions but the industry relied on Government funding and as the wage bill was up to 70 per cent of its costs, it needed to be adequately funded.

Wallace said it was implausible for the industry to absorb the increase in costs, while there were some big operators in the industry, the majority were smaller providers…

– Stuff


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