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Home and community support services under threat following pay equity settlement

The home and community support sector says its services are under threat following the pay equity settlement for district health board nurses and healthcare workers.

The nurses rally in Wellington on 9 June 2021.
The nurses rally in Wellington on 9 June 2021. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The Home and Community Health Association, which covers nurses and support staff, says the ever-increasing wage disparity between DHB staff and home and community workers will mean more staff will leave for higher paid jobs at DHBs.

Chief executive Graeme Titcombe said talks with government on more funding have been dragging on for a number of years while the situation just gets worse.

"The issue that we suffer from in all home based community services, be it ours or mental health or disability services, is that we are virtually invisible to the public and therefore we don't have the profile and because of that we do feel neglected," he said.

Titcombe said its false economy not increasing home and community care funding, because if services fail, then the public-health system has to pick it up.

The settlement was announced yesterday.