Oamaru Hospital staff to strike over pay
Support staff at Waitaki Health Services Ltd (Oamaru Hospital) will be holding two 24-hour strikes over the next few days.
The strikes follow a breakdown in negotiations between Compass group and The Service and Food Workers Union - Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU), who are unhappy that they have not received the national payrates and conditions, which all other hospital service workers received earlier this year.
The workers are employed in kitchen services, cleaning, orderly services and security. Although the staff work for Compass Group (a contractor), the funding for the hospital comes from Otago District Health Board. All the doctors, nurses and radiographers in the Oamaru Hospital are employed on terms and conditions that reflect the national agreements that cover those groups in the public hospitals.
"Our members are saying that they shouldn't be discriminated against, and as the lowest paid workers in the hospital, they need a good increase more than any others!", said Southern Regional Secretary Campbell Duignan.
"Our members at Oamaru Hospital feel outraged that there is allegedly no additional funding available from Otago District Health Board when the DHB have just managed to find an additional $60,000 pay increase for their CEO! That increase would be more than double what most of our members earn annually so it really hurts them!"
The first 24-hour strike will start at 6am on Friday 22 August, ending at 6am the following day (Saturday 23 August). A further strike will follow on Monday at 6am.