Union says caregivers left in limbo by Budget

A union is disappointed the Budget did not provide a settlement of the long-running equal pay case in aged care - or any indication of the Government's intentions.

E Tu organiser Ann Galloway, of Dunedin, said the Budget contained no mention of the Kristine Bartlett case, which is under negotiation between unions and the Government.

Talks have been under way for months, and the parties have been unable to agree on a fair pay rate for caregivers.

The case is likely to go back to the Employment Court.

"It was very disappointing.

"There was no mention about it at all, in any way shape or form, even though they are still negotiating,'' Mrs Galloway said.

The talks were launched after a landmark legal decision last year when the Court of Appeal found the Equal Pay Act could be used to compare occupations to make a finding of gender-based unfairness.

The premise of the case is that caregivers are underpaid because the sector is female-dominated.

Mrs Galloway said the Budget contained no help for her members in a broader sense, either.

"They're saving all the money for the tax cuts next year when it's election year.

"In the right places we need tax cuts for the poor people, and the ones at the top need to pay a bit more.''


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