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Waikato DHB clerical staff anger sizzles

Waikato DHB clerical staff anger sizzles

Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) clerical and administrative staff have voted to take industrial action to secure a better pay offer after negotiations for their Collective Agreement broke down two weeks ago.

The WDHB has made a 1.5% wage offer for 12 months, which is well below pay offers made to other groups of DHB employees. A mediation hearing between the Union and the DHB will take place on 17 & 18 March 2005. The PSA negotiating team have been given authorisation by its members to issue notice of industrial action over a three-week period, should a settlement not be reached.

The union’s advocate for the negotiations Linda Holt says the PSA is seeking fair pay for all health workers.

“The WDHB’s 1.5% pay offer for clerical and admin members is simply not enough. The PSA and other unions have already settled on significantly more for other groups of members at WDHB.

“Our members think the offer sends a clear signal that WDHB does not value their work. Why should clerical and admin employees who work on a public holidays receive time 1.5, when they work along side other employees who receive time 2? Is it that there is less value placed on our members when they spend time away from their families?

“Well-attended stop work meetings held at WDHB saw a number of predominantly women workers voice their anger at how they had been treated.

“The clerical and admin workers are receiving strong support from doctors, nurses, cleaners and other colleagues who work at the hospital.

“Clerical and administrative staff at Waikato DHB are not prepared to be treated like second class workers. They among the lowest paid at the DHB. Many of our members have worked for WDHB for most of their working life and they feel personally offended at how the WDHB has treated them. Should a reasonable settlement not be reached at mediation, industrial action will follow.

“Separately the PSA has also launched a nation-wide campaign to secure Fair Pay for All Health workers. The union has lodged a national pay case with District Health Boards New Zealand, which is currently being costed. Waikato clerical and admin workers will look to join this campaign once they have reached a settlement with WDHB,” Linda Holt said.

Photo opportunity: PSA clerical and administrative members are holding a sausage sizzle in front of Waikato Hospital tomorrow (Wednesday, 16 March 2005) and are asking that their colleagues at WDHB to join them and support their campaign for Fair Pay for all Health Workers. Members will be collecting signatures on a petition to be presented at the mediation hearing.

Where: Selwyn Street (front of Waikato Hospital, opposite Syrup Café) When: 11.30am to 2pm

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