My name is Dilani Perera. I am an NZNO delegate and a caregiver at a resthome in Wellington. I have been following Kristine Bartlett’s equal pay case with interest.
When I heard yesterday about the Equal Pay case decision I couldn’t say anything for a moment. It took a while to sink in. It is such a wonderful decision and I will celebrate with my family at home and my other family at work. This decision means a lot to me and to every woman who works as a caregiver in aged care.
My life has not been easy but I love my job. Most days I get up before dawn to go to work and care for my old people at work. They are my second family. I look after them and care for them the way I would want my mother to be looked after.
I feel it is a privilege and a joy to care for our elders even though it is tiring and hard work. I’m always tired when I get home and I often feel bad that my family misses out.
Yesterday the Court of Appeal has told me that this country cares about me and the work I do and that the money I get is not enough.
I have worked here for 10 years and I have passed all the qualifications and still only get one dollar more than the minimum wage.
I am a solo mother and I have brought up my three children myself, and I never have enough for them. Our house is always cold. When my children ask me for something I have to think whether it is possible this week, or next week.
If I had equal pay I would have a better home and better food and better clothes. Better everything!
I would also spend more time with my family. It took me seven years to save enough money to visit my mother back home. If I had equal pay I could visit more.
Lots of my friends at work have two jobs and are so, so tired. I want them to be happy and well and enjoying their families.
I thank my sister Kristine Bartlett and my union for giving me a better life ahead. On behalf of all caregivers and their families too, thank you.
Thank you also to the Court of Appeal who finally made me feel like the work I do is valued.
This is a short clip we filmed late last year about equal pay.
October 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm
Great news that a pay rise has been approved, it’s a pity however that new Enrolled Nurses are having trouble finding jobs in and around Auckland .No vacancies seem to exist
November 11, 2014 at 5:03 pm
It’s just as hard getting a job in the Bay Of Plenty as an Enrolled Nurse. I thought by up skilling I would be in a better position….Not so. It’s only due to personal reasons I’ve had to stop applying for work.
October 29, 2014 at 10:17 pm
Congratulations to Christine for her perseverance and being prepared to front the equal pay case. It has taken a lot of courage and I commend her on that. History has been made
October 30, 2014 at 6:22 am
Hopefully finally the amazingly hard working health care workers will be properly financially paid for looking after our families in aged care facilities . We are judged by how we treat our most vulnerable so far NZ is guilty of abusing them by not giving them a workforce which is adequately paid and educated.
November 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm
Now all we have to do is have the money put where there are now the words
November 12, 2014 at 8:39 am
Has the Prime Minister seen this? The sad thing is, he won’t need to come into an Enliven home because he’s so wealthy. With the current fiasco over a criminal flying to Brazil, perhaps the request for pay parity with prison guards is unfair: aged care workers deserve more money than corrections staff!
November 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm
I think that’s fabulous it would be great if we could get equal pay…such as Tamariki Ora Nurses and Plunket Nurses. Kaupapa Maori nurses and mainstream nurses. There is a huge difference.
December 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm
Nzno does a lot of work for us as a care giver they want us to have equal pay we work hard with less pay its a hard work but we as care giver love our job as for me money is okay but we love our other family no 2