"The announcement of a settlement of the Equal Pay case is a welcome step towards recognising the vital work of those doing care work in this country, and for work done mainly by women" says Gillian Bremner, spokesperson for the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS).
"It also recognises the importance of older people and others who are living with disabilities who are supported through this work."
"The Christian social service organisations in NZCCSS networks employ thousands of dedicated people in aged care, home-based support and the disability sector, who do challenging, but rewarding work." she said.
Today's settlement with the unions is critical, say NZCCSS, because most caring work is funded by the Government through subsidies for the people needing support.
This change in Government assessment of pay rates has the potential to directly impact on subsidy levels, which could flow on to Christian social services' wage budgets.
"Our agencies are all non-for-profit and charitable organisations with a focus on the wellbeing of the people we work with, who are mostly older people needing a wide range of support to live well in their own homes or in aged residential care." said Gillian Bremner today.
"We want to pay our staff more, but Government funders decide how much money is available to pay carers' wages ... this has resulted in lower wages than we think should be paid for this work."
NZCCSS and its member agencies are committed to doing all they can for the wellbeing of employees as well as the older people they support.
As soon as details of the settlement are available, New Zealand's Christian social service agencies will tease out how these changes might benefit Christian caring organisations' services and the employment conditions they can provide.