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DHB's exploiting low paid health workers

Wednesday 13 December 2006

"District health boards exploiting low paid health workers"

"District health boards are exploiting the vulnerability of its low paid health workers forcing them to take limited strike action today," said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

"The critical issue is the miserable attitude by the DHBs of refusing to negotiate a national collective agreement for low paid health workers such as cleaners, orderlies and service food workers. An enormous amount of time has been wasted in the past negotiating around 43 separate collective agreements which DHBs have used to continue to keep these wages as low as possible. It would be much fairer and more efficient to rationalise these separate agreements into one."

"DHBs have accepted that doctors, nurses and other health professionals should be covered by national collective agreements but they arrogantly look down on low paid workers who do so much valuable but unnoticed work in our public hospitals. The DHBs are taking advantage of what they see as the economic vulnerability of the low paid."

"A key test of the values and sincerity of a district health board is how it treats its most vulnerable. On this test the DHBs are performing abysmally," concluded Mr Powell.


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