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Clerical Downgrading Splitting Health Team

Wednesday 31 August 2005

MEDIA RELEASE

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTERS

Clerical Downgrading Splitting Health Team

“The Government’s refusal to offer the same fair pay percentages to clerical, administration, information services, maintenance and cleaning staff as they are to clinical staff will split the health services team in public hospitals,” said Martin Cooney, Organiser of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. He was commenting on health announcements about nurses’ fair pay by the Minister of Health Annette King.

“The Government and Boards have told Unions that they do not support a national pay rate for these groups who make up the support staff in our Hospitals. Only 1.7% has been offered to these groups based on the normal funding provided by the Government for pay rises and this does not even cover inflation,” said Martin Cooney.

“While it is positive that nurses and allied health (social workers, occupational therapists and dental therapists for example) are to move to national rates, it will split the health team if support workers do not move to national rates as well,” said Martin Cooney.

“Clinical records staff provide accurate, timely and essential information to clinicians so they can make key decisions about patients,” said Martin Cooney. “Clinicians cannot work in the dark or without the key equipment that maintenance and technical staff ensure is operational and safe.”

“People going to Hospital want to be dealt with by staff who are feeling positive in their work,” said Martin Cooney. “The Government must ensure that the lower paid health workers are also fairly paid. NUPE is continuing to seek 30% rises for all health workers.”

ENDS

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