By June Francis
Kristine Bartlett recently toured the country speaking about her work in aged care and the landmark legal victory for pay equity. As part of International Workers Day, we celebrate this working class hero’s tireless campaigning for equal pay in New Zealand.
Twenty three years ago Kristine Bartlett started work in aged care on $9 an hour.
- Her work is shift work and it is hard work that requires compassion, responsibility, and care.
- On a daily basis Kristine must meet the NZ standards set out in a 17 page document. She must ensure that patients are monitored; that there are no accidents; that things run on time.
- Aged care workers do a lot of the work that Registered Nurses once did, for example palliative care – carrying out daily cares; laying out the deceased body as the loved ones would like to see them; looking after the family; then carrying on to care for the next patient. However the care workers are given no opportunity for debriefing.