Sleepover issue settled.
Subject: Nurses (Compensation and benefits)
Wage payment systems (Laws, regulations and rules)
Community health aides (Compensation and benefits)
Community psychiatric services (Government finance)
Pub Date: 10/01/2011
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Oct, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 9
Topic: Event Code: 280 Personnel administration; 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime; 900 Government expenditures Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Computer Subject: Government regulation
Product: Product Code: 8043100 Nurses; 8085000 Community Mental Health Centers NAICS Code: 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners; 62142 Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers SIC Code: 8322 Individual and family services; 8399 Social services, not elsewhere classified
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 271050304
Full Text: The Service and Food Workers' Union (SFWU) and the Public Service Association (PSA) have reached an agreement with the government and disability support providers to settle the "sleepover" dispute, which has been the subject of a four-year legal battle.

Congratulating the two unions on the deal, NZNO's industrial services manager Cee Payne said it was a victory for workers' rights everywhere "especially in this current climate where workers' rights are up for grabs".

NZNO members working outside the disability sector are currently paid $60 per sleepover and are likely to benefit from the deal. Industrial adviser Rob Haultain said NZNO was looking into the issue.

The case, originally brought by Levin disability support worker Phil Dickson in 2007, centred on whether sleepovers should be paid at the minimum wage, rather than a $34 shift allowance. It was upheld by the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal, with the Supreme Court scheduled to hear an appeal by disability provider IHC last month.

But a deal was reached before the appeal. This sees the government contributing $117 million towards a settlement for 3700 disability support workers, with IHC funding the rest. The government's contribution will see $90 million go towards phasing in minimum wage rates by July 2013 and $27.5 million towards back pay.

The government will fund employers to pay 50 percent of the current minimum hourly wage ($13) to workers for sleepovers from July 1, 2011, then 75 percent from July 2012 and 100 percent from July 1, 2013. Back pay will be paid at 50 percent of the appropriate minimum wage from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2011 to past and present employees, in respect of all claims lodged to September 2 this year.

The government has to pass enabling legislation to secure the agreement, which it intended to do before the House rose for the general election.

Announcing the deal, Health Minister Tony Ryall said the deal was a fair one and people with disabilities and their families could be assured providing quality support remained a priority for the government.

Payne said the perseverance and commitment of union members had resulted in justice for these workers, who had such a valuable role in supporting people with disabilities and in community mental health facilities.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.