I visited Kilmarnock Heights Rest Home during Caregiver’s Week last month to do my part to recognise the contribution of this work force. I met some wonderful people and enjoyed having the opportunity to speak with the carers, managers and union representatives. The delicious morning tea was very pleasant and made me glad I had biked there!
Caregiving is one of the hardest jobs there is. You have to be kind, compassionate and efficient all at the same time. I wanted to take the opportunity to tell the caregivers gathered at Kilmarnock in Wellington that I admired them, and appreciated the work they do. Their cultural diversity is a strength for the Capital.
Caregivers have the challenge of supporting our most vulnerable citizens when they are happy, sad, scared, angry or lonely. It is up to the staff to turn a Rest Home into a real home, and that is a huge responsibility.
Caregiving is a predominately female workforce, at 93 percent. The battle for wages that reflect the value of the job caregivers do is ongoing.
As I am sure you are all aware, the Wellington City Council supports the Living Wage. In 2013 Wellington City Council increased the wages of our lowest paid employees including parking wardens and lifeguards. This has made a significant difference to the lives of our staff and their families.
None of us can be 100 percent certain what the future holds for us or our family members. Let’s all show our appreciation and support of those in the caregiving industry.
Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa.
Mayor of Wellington