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5 Day Hospital Strike Begins Monday

Saturday 10 September 2005

5 Day Hospital Strike Begins Monday

“NUPE negotiators have still not had an offer for all NUPE members from the Canterbury District Health Boards (CDHB) after ten months of negotiations and will continue with their five day strike set to take place from 7am 12th to 7am 17th September,” said Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

Martin Cooney said that the roughly 500 NUPE members had previously postponed the strike by two weeks to give the Government time to come up with funding for an acceptable offer in particular for support staff members.

“The Government has only provided funding of 1.7% for clerical and administration, maintenance, information services and cleaning staff in health,” said Martin Cooney. “Clinical staff (Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Recreation Officers and Dental Therapists) have been told by the CDHB that the Government has approved extra funding but no offer has been put on the table.”

“Plainly the Government has acted shamefully in only offering 1.7% to all health support workers against the 30% catch-up given to some nurses and doctors,” said Martin Cooney.

“Mental health cleaners earn from $11 an hour in dangerous conditions; Clerical workers scales start just above the minimum wage of $9.50; Maintenance staff like electricians earn only $19 an hour - $8-10 an hour less than in the private sector; while Information Services do not even have a pay scale but most earn about 30% less than private sector rates.”

“NUPE delegates meet on Sunday at 4pm to organise activities during the strike to highlight their plight,” said Martin Cooney.

ENDS

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