Planned changes to the contracting of service providers in the Wellington region by local District Health Boards must include stability and certainty for home care workers and their client, according to the PSA and E tū unions.
Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels
The Capital and Coast DHB and Hutt Valley DHB are dumping their existing arrangement of a sole provider model (currently Access Community Health), and calling for tenders for home care support services.
The DHBs have made clear their intention to contract more than one provider to deliver this service.
Unions say secure and stable work for support workers must be central to any new contract.
“Care and support workers fought for and won proper recognition of the crucial work they do, and we are concerned they may be left out of this process,” PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies says.
“Whoever wins this contract must be properly funded to do this work, including all obligations around training, guaranteed hours and in-between travel.”
The PSA and E tū understand DHBs intend to consult with stakeholders, and say workers must be included in the process.
“If we are to genuinely move towards quality care for our elderly people, then clients and support workers must be consulted,” E tū Delegate Tamara Baddeley says.
“Without this consultation, DHBs cannot deliver the care and support elderly people need.”
PSA delegate Helen Amey says she’s worried about uncertainty and instability for workers, because this is the third time many of them have been through this process.
“We are also worried about the impact on our clients, who rely on us to live independently and need continuity of support.”
The PSA and E tū say maintaining the recent gains achieved by support workers must be core to any decisions made.
The unions urge the DHBs to begin proper consultation with workers and their representatives as a matter of urgency.