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Dhb Clerical Workers To Protest Low Pay-Demic

Sunday 14 May 2006

Dhb Clerical Workers To Protest Low Pay-Demic

“NUPE clerical workers are protesting a deal agreed between the Public Service Association (PSA) and South Island Health Boards that delivers an 8% real pay cut to over two thousand ward clerks, telephonists, clinical records and other medical staff,” said Martin Cooney, Organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today.

“Clerical health workers say many were bullied and bribed into accepting the ‘jam tomorrow, crumbs today’ PSA deal, which is now being extended to all other DHB workers,” said Martin Cooney. “The Government should be worried that workers are already talking about the tax cuts in the Australian Budget as a way to get a top up.”

“Clerical health workers feel betrayed as they are in the pandemic front line, likely before June 30 2009 when this Agreement expires,” said Martin Cooney. “The Government expects them to put their bodies (and families) on the line to provide clinical records, vital communications and support to clinicians during any pandemic emergency, but is washing its hands of providing funding to pay them a real pay rise.”

“The original claim was a catch up to a starting rate of $14.90 per hour but the marshmallow deal settled for $11.30 per hour at expiry by 30 June 2009. The Government’s own policy is for a minimum wage of $12 by 2008,” said Martin Cooney. “For workers on lower steps of the scale, the deal is an actual pay cut since there is no progression up a scale in the new document.”

“The clerical workers will be protesting this ‘low pay-demic’ on Wednesday to encourage the Health Minister to inject more funds for Health Board salaries into the 18 May budget,“ said Martin Cooney. “Members will spend their lunch hour giving out pamphlets encouraging proper hand washing by the public to fight the pandemic, and one explaining how they want the Health Minister to stop washing his hands of the low pay-demic.”


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