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CDHB Maintenance Decision - Higher Risk, Lower Pay

Saturday 16 July 2005

CDHB Maintenance Decision - Higher Risk, Lower Pay

“Lower pay, job losses and higher risk for patients will result from a Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) maintenance staff decision that has angered workers calling for more trades staff and a 30% catch up in pay,” said Lynda Boyd, Organiser for the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today.

She was commenting on the Board’s just announced decision aimed at saving $500,000 pa largely from cuts to on call payments to approximately 100 maintenance staff in the country’s biggest health board.

“Many trades staff face a cut of 20-25% to their take home pay as the Board has decided to introduce a 24/7 shift engineer system and drastically reduce the number of staff on call,” said Lynda Boyd. “Given that the pay rates of health board trades staff are currently at least 30% behind the private sector, the cuts to take home pay will make it difficult to attract and retain staff.”

“From mid 2004, the CDHB faced with Government underfunding from the Population Based Funding model has come up with various proposals to save money by cutting staff numbers and now via pay cuts,” said Lynda Boyd.

“This decision will not work. The restructuring has already left mandatory electrical checks (eg on appliances) months behind and will place staff in positions where patients will be at risk from failure of systems. The real need is to hire more staff to make up the backlog of maintenance and to pay them rates competitive with the private sector,” said Lynda Boyd.

“Union members will be meeting this coming week to decide how to react to the decision following briefings from management,” said Lynda Boyd.

ENDS

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