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Health Workers Reject “Sunshine Salaries”

PSA Press Release

Attention: Health reporters August 21, 2003

Health Workers Reject “Sunshine Salaries”

PSA members working in Public Health, Health Promotion and Mental Health Services will no longer tolerate the current low Nelson Marlborough District Health Board salary rates, PSA Organiser Mike Cunliffe said today.

Public Health, Mental Health Services nurses and related staff are getting considerably less than their colleagues throughout New Zealand.

Mike Cunliffe said that just in relation to nurses on the West Coast, Nelson/Marlborough nurses are paid between $5,000 and $8,000 per annum less in basic salary.

Psychologists, a highly qualified group of health professionals, are receiving from $15,000 to $20,000 per annum less at Nelson Marlborough District Health Board than their colleagues at other DHBs.

“The low Nelson/Marlborough (Sunshine) salaries combined with the high cost of Nelson housing has been detrimental in attracting new staff in some occupational groups, however Nelson Marlborough District Health Board cannot be complacent towards current staff if it intends to continue providing a quality health service.

Mike Cunliffe said that PSA members in various occupational groups could be left with no choice but to take industrial action to get fair and reasonable salary terms and conditions. This will start with registered nurses at Alexandra Psycho-geriatric Hospital in Richmond taking an initial two days of strike action in September.

“Industrial action could spread as collective employment agreements expire. Action could occur throughout Public Health and Mental Health Services until Nelson Marlborough District Health Board takes a more reasonable approach to their staff and pay the appropriate salaries.”


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