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Reporters Five Day Hospital Strike Requires Govt

Saturday 30 July 2005

Reporters Five Day Hospital Strike Requires Govt Help

“600 health workers employed by the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) have voted by 88% majority to take a five day strike to send a message to the Government to fund their claim for a 30% catch-up for all health workers,” said Nadine Marshall, Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

Nadine Marshall said that the CDHB was informed on 19th July of the result of the five day strike ballot. “Delegates have decided that the strike will proceed unless the Government provides funding for an acceptable offer by 10 August.”

“Health workers note that their dispute over a pay catch-up is not with the people of Canterbury who will be without public hospital services for a week,” said Nadine Marshall. “A five day strike is an absolute last resort after nine months of trying petitions to Parliament, multiple rallies outside Labour MPs offices, lobbying, letters and so on to get the funding for a 30% catch-up.”

“Clerical and Administration staff in health who deal with clinical records and waiting lists for X rays and so on, are among the lowest paid of health workers,” said Nadine Marshall. “The starting rate is only $9.72 an hour (the minimum wage is $9.50) and it takes at least four years to reach $13.47 per hour.”

“Unfortunately it seems that unless the Union demonstrates the critical role that Clerical, Records, Maintenance, Information Technology, Mortuary Technicians and other allied health workers play, the Government will not provide the funding for the CDHB to make an acceptable offer,” said Nadine Marshall.

“How can health workers care for others in the community when they are not paid enough to be able to look after their own families?” said Nadine Marshall.

ENDS

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