23 August 2004
National Smokescreen on Holidays Act Evades the Issue
“Judith Collins’ attack on the Council of Trade Unions is merely a smokescreen to avoid answering questions raised about the right of health workers to fair pay for working on statutory holidays,” CTU president Ross Wilson said today.
The National Party health spokesperson attacked the CTU president after he publicly called on her to explain why she thought that health workers shouldn’t get time and a half for working on statutory holidays or get four weeks annual leave in 2007 under the new Holidays Act.
“Judith Collins should also explain her apparent contradiction of her party leader,” Ross Wilson said.
“On the one hand we have Don Brash saying New Zealand workers aren’t getting paid enough and on the other Judith Collins complaining about the cost of health workers.
“The CTU has always supported proper funding of health services,” Ross Wilson said. “And retaining competent health professionals is a vital part of that.”
It seemed that Ms Collins wanted to go back to cutting the salaries of doctors and nurses as its policy for increasing services.
“She will then find that you can’t run a health service without doctors and nurses.”