Employees of Healthcare NZ were today left angry and concerned for their future following a company proposal to disestablish up to 200 jobs in regions around the country, and instead centralise services in Auckland.
The Public Service Association opposes the proposal, and calls on the company to go back to the drawing board and prioritise the needs of its staff and the local communities they serve.
“We have serious concerns about the impact proposed job losses will have on both staff and clients. We believe the company is making the wrong decision for the wrong reasons,” says Public Service Association National Secretary Kerry Davies.
“We are determined to ensure workers’ voices are heard and respected, and we remain hopeful a different and better outcome can be reached. These workers are dedicated both to their profession and to the vulnerable people they help care for, and this must be recognised as a key factor in any proposal the company puts forward.”
Healthcare NZ provides home care and support to vulnerable people for multiple DHBs, and manages community houses that provide 24-hour support for people with disabilities.
Like most care and support companies, it is privately owned and run for profit using taxpayer money.
The workers affected by this proposal are home support coordinators and admin staff, and service managers for the 24-hour homes.
“This is part of a bigger picture. The funding model for home support care is broken, and we need the Ministry of Health and other funders to take responsibility for ongoing problems in the sector,” says Ms Davies.
“It is not good enough that a mostly female workforce in regional New Zealand is being treated this way. They deserve better.”