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Orderlies and Kitchen workers picket

Tue, 22 Feb 2005

Orderlies and Kitchen workers picket “Others get paid more for the same work, we want a fair deal.”

Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) members working for Spotless Services will picket the Palmerston North hospital on Tuesday 22nd February in protest over the low wage rates paid to orderlies, domestic and kitchen staff at the hospital.

Starting rates for domestic and cleaning staff with Spotless Services are less than $10.00 per hour and workers are feeling the injustice of being paid much less than other hospital employees, for doing the same work.

“We are picketing because we are disappointed and frustrated with Spotless management stalling pay negotiations. The conditions are causing financial stress and pressure on our families because we get such low wages.” said SFWU Orderlies Delegate Ken Archer

“Employees who work as cleaners, orderlies and kitchen workers at Mid-Central Health have been offered an inferior 2.25% wage increase per annum for two years. Negotiations have been going since August last year and members have been put off time and again when they have asked for a decent pay increase. The company has agreed to mediation dates, but members simply want better pay rates.” said SFWU Organiser Thomas O’Neill

The SFWU feels that the District Health Board needs to address this issue by ensuring that its contactors are being ‘good employers’ and remuneration is in accordance with the wider hospital environment.

An example of the disparity between the lowest paid Spotless staff at Mid Central Health and other hospitals is:

Cleaners at Wellington Hospital are paid 91c per hour more than at Palmerston North and at Hutt Hospital they are $1.25 better off.

Orderlies at Wellington are paid 96c more, and at Hutt Hospital, 36c more. Kitchen Hands in Wellington get $1.12 more and at Hutt Hospital, 79c more.


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