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Health Minister caught out over pay rises

The Health Minister’s been caught out with her letter to hospital bosses, that not only puts the kibosh on pay rises for staff but has been labelled a breach of good faith, Opposition Health Spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.

“Annette King’s pre-election rhetoric raising expectations amongst nurses unions and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists has come back to haunt her.

“Her instructions to health bosses that ‘increases in pay should be offset with productivity improvements so all settlements will be cost neutral…’ is almost word-for-word the instructions the Crown Company Monitoring Unit gave to health bosses last year.

“Back then Mrs King criticised the CCMAU instructions claiming they were from a Government wanting to “deny over-worked and under-resourced professionals at the coalface a few extra dollars in their pay packets.

“She said there was “little chance of a sensible use of health dollars while bureaucrats follow the lead of a Government more interested in principles than pragmatics”.

“Mrs King is now saying exactly the same thing.

“The nurses union will be shocked she hasn’t loosened the purse strings after all her talk. She’s already been accused of breaching good faith bargaining.

“The word is that nurses unions at some hospitals are expecting a ten per cent pay rise this year. Given Mrs King’s stance nurses are going to face a tough task to get even a slight rise, and that means strike action.

“The Health Minister’s directive is hardly a good start to the pay round, or making good faith bargaining work in practice under the Employment Relations Bill.”

ends

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