A pay rise for our staff
Government funding for sectors involving aged care, home support and disability services has recently increased. The Government estimates that within five years the funding will increase by more than $500 million per annum. Recent changes to pay equity legislation mean the work conducted, most commonly by women, will receive higher hourly rates. This aligns their wages to similar work conducted by men.
The vital and caring work our healthcare assistants do everyday is being recognised and it is long overdue. It envisaged better wages will create happier and longer serving staff members who will be better caregivers. The increase will also impact on employers, residents and their families.
The legislation sets pay scales and the Government funding is based on an average increase healthcare assistants will receive. This model leaves a significant shortfall between Government funding and the real increase in wages. Some employees will receive more than a 30 per cent wage increase, due to their length of service and historical hourly rate. It is anticipated all other staff with qualifications, such as nurses, will require pay increases in recognition of their education and higher level of responsibility.
Private hospitals and rest homes must make up the shortfall and most have not budgeted for the increased wages. This begs the question where will the extra money come from to cover the significant increase in wages?
Large organisations with independent living apartments and villas can absorb some of the increases in their profit margins and we have heard their residents have been advised of price increases for support services. Recently, we attended a meeting with all Auckland aged care providers and the Ministry of Health to discuss the financial impact to smaller facilities and the ministry did not offer any solutions.
At Ambridge Rose Manor we reviewed the budget and it is inevitable that some things will change. This will be the same for all aged cared homes. Please be assured the entire team at Ambridge Rose Manor remains committed to providing exceptional service and this will always continue. All services offered and staffing levels will remain the same.
We are investigating every option to pay all staff much-deserved remuneration, while we strive to create a family-focused home for older people. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.
Linda and Allan Sargeant