Tuesday, June 18, 2024

PSA praises strong public service Budget

The Public Service Association (PSA) has praised Budget 2023, saying it ensures that New Zealanders can continue to rely on the critical services they need from a strong public service.

National Secretary, Kerry Davies said the Budget “hits many of the right notes” in terms of continued investment in public and community services and workers, as well as taking a long-term view of the challenges to building resilience.

“To face the challenges we have seen from the pandemic and from severe climate events, we need investment in people and services,” said Ms Davies.

The PSA welcomed funding to continue progress to end gender and ethnic pay gaps.

“There is $17 million supporting equitable pay for care and support workers who look after some of the most vulnerable people in our community. And it’s good to see the start of funding for the extension of pay equity to community social workers,” said Ms Davies.

“It is pleasing to see half a billion dollars allocated to reduce pay disparities between community and hospital workers. Our expectation is that the Government should be reducing disparities with all community health workers.”

She said Association would be seeking more information on the “serious inequity” between those staff delivering funded services in the community over those directly employed in hospitals.

“We also welcome the removal of the minimum wage exemption for disabled workers which has been a long-standing discrimination. We have fought hard to remove this as disabled workers deserve to be paid the same as anyone else doing the same work.”

“Public service workers are facing the same cost of living pressures as all New Zealanders so it’s also good news to see funding of $2.3 billion to implement the Public Sector Pay Adjustment. This is about valuing the work people do in the public service across the country to support people, and businesses to prosper, and deal with our long-term challenges.

“Overall, Budget 2023 is a budget for our times. But if we are going to keep facing our challenges, this commitment to strong public and community services must continue,” said Ms Davies.  

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