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Freezing funding impacts on strike action

MEDIA RELEASE


ATTENTION: INDUSTRIAL AND HEALTH REPORTERS

Freezing of Ministry of Health funding impacts directly on the Vote For Strike Action At Brackenridge Estate

The Ministry of Health decision to freeze funding for Brackenridge Estate has directly impacted on the recent decision by union members to take industrial action.

“Members of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action in the form of a full withdrawal of labour,” said NUPE organiser Janice Gemmell

The strike action is scheduled to take place from 7:00am on Friday 11th through to 7:00am on Sunday 13th January.

“The Ministry of Health have blown their budget and now the staff at Brackenridge appear to be the ones that have to count the cost.” says Janice Gemmell NUPE Organiser.

The Ministry of Health have advised Brackenridge that they have postponed any further residential contract rate increases and while acknowledging that this is unfortunate have stated it is a result of growth in the sector significantly above that funded for.

“Unions are currently in bargaining for a new collective agreement and are frustrated and angry that Brackenridge Estate is not prepared to make a decent pay offer on their base pay rates, penal rates and not prepared to pay any overtime rate despite staff regularly working a lot of additional hours.” says Janice Gemmell

“The Ministry of Health decision to simply deal with their budget blow out by not paying out contract increases is totally unacceptable and questions need to be asked of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Disabilities” says Janice Gemmell “Why should low paid staff and residents be the ones to pay because of either poor management at Brackenridge, the Ministry or because this current Government is failing to fund this sector adequately.”

“It is shocking that the most vulnerable sector in our society is scrambling for cash when the Government is currently sitting on an enormous surplus” says Janice Gemmell

Union members will be meeting on Monday 7th January to consider the slightly improved offer from Brackenridge, if the vote is to reject then the industrial action will proceed on Friday the 11th January.

ENDS

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