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Significant investment in village staff, fourth Melbourne village gets development approval

Annual Meeting media release

Ryman Healthcare has unveiled a substantial pay rise for its nursing staff, and secured development approval for its fourth village in Melbourne.

Dr David Kerr, Chair of Ryman Healthcare, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting at Possum Bourne Retirement Village today that the pay reset for nurses followed last year’s pay equity settlement which benefitted more than 2,000 Ryman caregivers.

Dr Kerr said last year’s pay rises for caregivers had been well deserved, and it had become apparent that a substantial increase for nurses and other village staff was also due.

“We talked to staff about what we could do and listened to their views. I’m delighted to say that we have increased remuneration for all our staff. They were overwhelmingly supportive.’’

“Our more than 500 experienced New Zealand nurses have had an average pay increase of more than 20% since last April and other village staff have also enjoyed significant increases.

“This reset is likely to cost an additional $5 million this financial year and is over and above the 2% increase in Government funding for aged care – this is an investment in people that we are happy to make.

“We think the increases are necessary to reward everyone fairly, and to make sure we’re competitive. The new rates of pay make us one of the highest payers in the industry.’’

Dr Kerr said full time village staff had also benefited from a doubling in their sick leave allowance, including wellness days. Weekend allowances for nurses had also been doubled.

In addition, Ryman has continued to invest in developing our staff with 288 staff, including care and nursing leaders attending the new bespoke management and leadership development programme.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Gordon MacLeod said development approval had been received for the company’s fourth Melbourne village at Burwood East.

The village will be home to more than 400 residents, and is in a sought-after part of the city.

Residents are about to move into Ryman’s second village in Melbourne at Brandon Park. Ryman is targeting to have work underway at new villages at Coburg, Burwood East and Geelong by the end of the financial year, in line with its aspiration of having five villages open in Victoria by the end of 2020. There are also three more villages in the design phase in Victoria.

The company’s construction and sales teams have just begun work at its new village site in River Rd, Hamilton, which will be Ryman’s 34th in New Zealand.

Dr Kerr said trading was satisfactory in the first quarter. The development programme was heavily weighted towards the second half of the financial year.

Ryman’s operations and technology teams had celebrated the key milestone of completing the rollout of the company’s myRyman care system at all its villages in New Zealand.

The care system was a nurse-led project and was delivered ahead of schedule with more than 3,000 devices installed in residents’ rooms.

“It’s a rare feat for a complex healthcare technology project of this size involving this many staff to be completed ahead of schedule,’’ Dr Kerr said.

Chief Operations Officer Barbara Reynen-Rose said it was a game-changer in terms of the way care was delivered. It freed staff from paperwork, allowing them to spend more time caring for residents, and she said there were plenty more innovations to come as myRyman reached its full potential.

“Nurses don’t sign up to do paperwork – myRyman was designed to free them from their desks to do what they joined us to do – care for residents.

“We believe that the combination of increased pay rates, improved benefits, leadership development and industry-leading technology make Ryman an even more attractive company to work for.’’

Dr Kerr said the focus on staff and technology investment was crucial as Ryman geared up for the extraordinary growth ahead. The number of people aged over 75 more than doubles over the next 30 years.

“We know that our residents think the world of our staff and place a huge amount of trust in them. If our staff are happy, our residents will be happy and we will be in good shape for the years ahead.’’

Ryman developments:

New villages open with construction continuing:

  • Charles Upham, Rangiora: Final stage under construction.
  • Bob Scott, Petone: Final stage under construction.
  • Bert Sutcliffe, Auckland: Final stage under construction.
  • Logan Campbell, Greenlane, Auckland: Care centre open.

New villages under construction:

  • Nellie Melba, Brandon Park, Melbourne: First residents about to move in.
  • Devonport, Auckland: Construction underway.
  • Lynfield, Auckland: Construction underway.
  • River Rd, Hamilton: Site works underway.

New villages in the planning and design phase:

  • Burwood East, Melbourne: Approval received, work due to get underway later in the financial year.
  • Coburg, Melbourne: Approval received, work due to get underway later in the financial year.
  • Aberfeldie, Melbourne
  • Mt Eliza, Melbourne
  • Mt Martha, Melbourne
  • Geelong, Victoria
  • Hobsonville, Auckland
  • Lincoln Rd, Auckland
  • Te Aute Rd, Havelock North
  • Karori, Wellington
  • Newtown, Wellington
  • Park Terrace, Christchurch

About Ryman:

Ryman Healthcare was founded in Christchurch in 1984 and owns and operates 32 retirement villages in New Zealand and Victoria, Australia. Ryman villages are home to over 10,800 residents, and the company employs 5,000 staff.

Contacts:

For media information or images contact David King, Corporate Affairs Manager, on 021 499 602 (+64 21 499 602) or email david.king@rymanhealthcare.com

For investor relations information contact Michelle Perkins, Investor Relations Manager, on 027 222 9684 (+64 27 222 9684) or email michelle.perkins@rymanhealthcare.com