Family carers forgotten again

LETTER

Regarding the $2 billion pay equity settlement for 55,000 health care workers, we feel this is an unfair settlement as families of disabled people who look after their loved ones have been forgotten again.

We are paid just the minimum wage for family care — and only since 2013 — despite doing the job better than any caregiver could.

The Ministry of Health is neglecting to recognise family caregivers who are the most experienced and best-placed to look after their family member.

We are not able to do another outside job as the ministry has a limit of 40 hours per week. We got 50 hours as there was a lack of caregivers available in Kaitaia, and we fought for these hours as we were previously doing the job without pay.

We read on the Beehive website that the $2 billion pay equity settlement excludes families of disabled people who care for them.

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman stated: “This settlement recognises the work carried out by the 55,000 workers in our aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services across the country.”

So is he saying families are not doing the job properly, so they are not recognised? That’s the way we see it.

The Ministry of Health is once again discriminating against families of disabled people who look after them under “families status”, and getting away with it.

We previously reported this to the Human Rights Commission and they were not willing to do anything to help our situation until we put pressure on the commission and gave them a good tune-up. But the ministry is still unhelpful and unco-operative.

I rang a senior policy adviser at the ministry and asked why families were forgotten again. She didn’t know, said she didn’t want to carry on the conversation and hung up. We have now had a reply from someone that talks about policy and nothing else.

We get the feeling they don’t want to do anything about it because they are looking after the Government’s interests.

This is disgusting in a democratic country where everyone should be treated equally and decently.

Sushila and Royd Butt

Oturu, Kaitaia

Regarding the $2 billion pay equity settlement for 55,000 health care workers, we feel this is an unfair settlement as families of disabled people who look after their loved ones have been forgotten again.

We are paid just the minimum wage for family care — and only since 2013 — despite doing the job better than any caregiver could.

The Ministry of Health is neglecting to recognise family caregivers who are the most experienced and best-placed to look after their family member.

We are not able to do another outside job as the ministry has a limit of 40 hours per week. We got 50 hours as there was a lack of caregivers available in Kaitaia, and we fought for these hours as we were previously doing the job without pay.

We read on the Beehive website that the $2 billion pay equity settlement excludes families of disabled people who care for them.

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman stated: “This settlement recognises the work carried out by the 55,000 workers in our aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services across the country.”

So is he saying families are not doing the job properly, so they are not recognised? That’s the way we see it.

The Ministry of Health is once again discriminating against families of disabled people who look after them under “families status”, and getting away with it.

We previously reported this to the Human Rights Commission and they were not willing to do anything to help our situation until we put pressure on the commission and gave them a good tune-up. But the ministry is still unhelpful and unco-operative.

I rang a senior policy adviser at the ministry and asked why families were forgotten again. She didn’t know, said she didn’t want to carry on the conversation and hung up. We have now had a reply from someone that talks about policy and nothing else.

We get the feeling they don’t want to do anything about it because they are looking after the Government’s interests.

This is disgusting in a democratic country where everyone should be treated equally and decently.

Sushila and Royd Butt

Oturu, Kaitaia

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