The Alliance Party is disgusted that the government has allowed IHC leave to appeal the sleepover payment ruling to the Supreme Court.
“No doubt the Government is doing this in in an attempt to push the issue out of sight until after the November 26 election,” says Disability Issues spokesperson Chris Ford.
Mr Ford believes that the Supreme Court will rule against them, as have the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal. The Alliance feels this is a blatant waste of taxpayer’s money.
“The money being spent by the IHC on this appeal should instead be spent on providing services for people with intellectual disabilities and not funding lawyers to defend a gross violation of worker’s rights,” says Mr Ford.
The Alliance believes that the National Government must now tell IHC to drop the appeal and give them the extra funding needed to ensure that their employees are paid the minimum hourly rate for all of the hours that they are at work. It is an indictment on both the government that they will not do this, especially given that pre-Christchurch earthquake, they were prepared to spend billions on tax cuts for the wealthy, bailouts for South Canterbury Finance and millions on Rugby World Cup party venues, new ministerial limousines and extra pay for MPs.
“If IHC, as a major service provider, continues to refuse to pay workers in the disability sector a decent wage then they will give the message that, despite their pious rhetoric, they have no respect for disabled people and their families. The Alliance will stand beside the workers in their struggle for better pay and conditions,” said Mr Ford.