Back­ing sup­port­ers

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

I would like to add my com­ments to the ar­ti­cle head­lined: Change of carer shocks clients [ Kapi-Mana News, Fe­bru­ary 12]. This was poor tim­ing by En­liven to re-zone sup­port work­ers just be­fore Christ­mas. One of my clients said she did not even have a chance to say good­bye or give gifts to two other sup­port work­ers who as­sisted her.

You build a bond with your client which takes as much as five vis­its be­fore there is trust. When this hap­pens your clients rely on you, more than their fam­ily in some cases.

One of the prob­lems I have had with En­liven is try­ing to get more funds for petrol al­lowance which has not in­creased in four years. When you fac­tor in in­surance, run­ning costs, WOF and reg­is­tra­tion, main­te­nance and de­pre­ci­a­tion, you find you are out of pocket and this can re­duce your hourly rate by 50 cents to a dol­lar de­pend­ing on the CC rat­ing of your ve­hi­cle.

On top of that, we are us­ing our mo­bile phones to con­tact the of­fice and client. We are not re­im­bursed, adding more ex­pense to the sup­port work­ers (I would per­son­ally be happy to break even). I be­lieve our union is try­ing to im­prove our po­si­tion with re­gard to wages and petrol al­lowance. It should never have come to this.

Th­ese mat­ters need to be at­tended to ur­gently as th­ese sup­port work­ers do an ex­tra­or­di­nary job and should be re­ceiv­ing bet­ter at­ten­tion as some are earn­ing not much more than the min­i­mum wage. If En­liven or Cap­i­tal Health do not have the funds then we need the Government to come to their as­sis­tance, as our pre­cious se­nior clients need our ut­most at­ten­tion.

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