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Public Hospital Service Workers to Strike Friday

23 November 2009

For immediate release

Public Hospital Service Workers to Strike this Friday

Over 2700 public hospital service workers will be striking for four hours this Friday (27 November) to protest at the wage freeze that is being imposed on them by District Health Boards and the Government.

Orderlies, food service workers, cleaners and security staff who are members of the Service and Food Workers Union will be striking between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday at all public hospitals from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

SFWU National Secretary John Ryall said that negotiations with the District Health Boards and some contracting companies had been taking place since May but during this time there had been no movement in the nil increase that was on offer.

"Despite the DHBs being given a government funding increase of 3.1% this year they are refusing to pass on even one cent of that to the lowest paid hospital workers."

"We have been told by the DHBs that the Government has instructed them that there will be no increase in any public hospital agreement wage rate this year without specific agreement of the Minister of Health," said John Ryall.

"The $37,000 housing allowances that are now being given to cabinet ministers are worth more than the annual income of most public hospital service workers."

"It is time to lift the freeze on the wages of the lowest paid so that they can pay their rent as well."

ENDS

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