Healthcare workers win by standing together
District Health Boards have attended mediation and agreed to re-enter negotiations after healthcare workers announced industrial action at hospitals across New Zealand.
The workers, who provide support services including laundry, stores, and maintenance, took a stand against DHB management whose pay offer wouldn’t even cover inflation and the increasing cost of living.
“Each of these workers does a vital job to keep our health system running, but on their own they get ignored by management,” says Paul Tolich, EPMU senior industrial officer. “By joining forces, they’ve made the DHBs back down.
“Now workers will be able to bargain on a national basis, instead of having to run 25 separate negotiations.”
Healthcare workers are asking for a 4% pay increase over the next two years, which should ensure their wages keep pace with the cost of living and inflation.
“There are hundreds more DHB staff being paid over $100,000 than there were a year ago, but the workers at the bottom of the ladder are being told they get nothing,” says Paul Tolich.
“The government keeps telling us the economy is improving, and that workers will see the benefits of this. Our members say the DHBs should pay attention.”
The workers are represented by the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union; FIRST Union; UNITE; the Central Amalgamated Workers’ Union; and the Northern Amalgamated Workers’ Union.