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Wage Statistics Don’t Tell Story In Health

Wednesday 9 November 2005

Wage Statistics Don’t Tell Story In Health

“Reports based on Statistics New Zealand figures showing wage growth has hit a record high, with salary and wages having their largest annual and quarterly increase since the survey began in 1992 are quite misleading,” said Nadine Marshall, Secretary with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

“The public health sector figures showed that wages had risen by 5.9% since last year,” said Nadine Marshall. “Yet this hides very uneven increases with most receiving less than the rate of inflation alongside some significant rises (20% plus) for some public hospital nurses.”

“Health workers represented by NUPE most of whose CEA expired on 31 December 2004 have not even had a pay offer yet, let alone an increase,” said Nadine Marshall. “So their contribution to the statistics released is zero per cent at present - though they will expect backpay when they settle.”

“Health workers belonging to NUPE based in Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast and Canterbury are seeking a pay catch-up of around 30% to compensate for low pay deriving from the 1990s,” said Nadine Marshall. “Mental Health Nurses and Allied Health workers like Dental Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers have at least won Government recognition that they do need significant pay rises but they will not see these in their pockets this side of Xmas.”

“Clerical workers in health unions who have settled have only averaged around 2% increases when inflation is 3.4% and their pay rates start at $9.70. Maintenance trades staff are being offered much less than trades staff in the private sector are earning,” said Nadine Marshall.

“Information services staff are leaving the health sector because they do not even have proper pay scales let alone appropriate rates.”

“There is a great deal of anger and frustration in the public health sector and talk of record pay increases can only inflame that feeling,” said Nadine Marshall.

ENDS

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