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Vets Taking Advantage Of Others Hard Work

Parasitic VA Vets Taking Advantage Of Farmers And Meat Processors Hard Work

Federated Farmers' NZ Meat and Fibre Producers Chairman Chris Lester has slammed comments made by the Meat Workers Union justifying Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Verification Authority (MAF VA) veterinarians' pay claims on the basis that farmers were having a good year.

"It is all very well for these vets to say they want a share in the so-called "rural recovery" - but do they want to take a pay cut like farmers do when farming returns decline?" asked Mr Lester.

"I seriously doubt that MAF VA vets want to adjust their salary to reflect the good times and the bad."

The majority of MAF VA veterinarians will strike from midnight Thursday 15 February until the last shift on Thursday 22 February 2001.

The total withdrawal of service will bring New Zealand's meat exporting industry to a standstill at one of the most of important export times of the year.

"Farmers have faced tough times over the past 10 years and I didn't hear these vets offering to take a pay cut."

MAF VA vets are already paid 25 to 35 % above comparable veterinary positions in the private sector. The average take-home pay for a MAF vet is already more that $80,000 a year. Fifteen percent earn more that $100,000 per year. Allowances mean that many vets are already able to work a four-day week, less than the average of forty hours per week, and still receive over time.

"Most farmers work 6 or 7 day weeks with no overtime and earn considerably less than these gold-plated vets. These VA vets are just parasites taking advantage of all of the hard work farmers and meat companies have put in to develop a lucrative export market," concluded Mr Lester.

ENDS For further information: Tony St. Clair (04) 473-7269 Chris Lester (026) 103-569 Maxine Yule (04) 473-7269

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