From the President’s Pen ....





GREY POWER SUPPORTS OLDER WORKERS IN THE WORK FORCE The Older Workers’ Employment Action Plan released by Government Minister for Social Development and Employment, the Hon Carmel Sepuloni, and the Minister for Seniors, The Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, recently, is supported by Grey Power as work well overdue. This plan includes training and ups killing in finding and staying in work, supporting employers to be more inclusive and planning for employment opportunities for an aging workforce. Older workers often have long experience in the workforce and have a great deal to contribute, but all too often are seen as ‘past their use by date’. This is an attitude that denies the positive contribution these workers can make in mentoring, passing on skills and knowledge to other workers, while being an asset to the business themselves. Grey Power President, Jan Pentecost QSM, comments that it is almost impossible for workers over 50 years to gain employment, regardless of ability and experience. Pentecost says that this plan, which Grey Power, along with other organisations were consulted upon, will go a long way towards correcting the problem. I encourage local employers to actively consider older applicants for job vacancies you may have. At this time when business opportunities are opening up again, we need to negate the attitude of Age Discrimination in the work force and recognize the added value the experience, skills, knowledge and positive work ethics our older people bring to the job. The annual review of New Zealand Superannuation payments that came into effect on 1st April, is also welcomed by Grey Power. The 5.9% increase gives some relief to ever increasing prices with growing inflation, with single super-annuitants receiving an extra $52.00 a fortnight and couples an extra $80.00 a fortnight. This was followed by the resumption of the Winter Energy Payment for Superannuitants and other low income earners as from 1st May through to 1st October. The payment for single people with no dependents is $20.40 a week and for couples and people with dependent children is $31.82 a week. This has become an annual payment to meet higher heating costs during the winter months. It would seem an increase in property rates this year is inevitable, Grey Power Manawatu recommends affected members to participate in any discussions or consultation with our Councilors, as these opportunities arise. Kia ora, kia kaha, kia manawanui Nga mihi mai, Russell Hallam QSM President, Grey Power Manawatu.