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Health Unions call on DHBs to do the right thing

Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota
Media Release – for immediate release
20 July 2007

Health Unions call on DHBs to do the right thing

Key health sector unions have today joined the Service and Food Workers Union in calling for the District Health Boards to take a lead in resolving the seven day lockout of 800 cleaners, kitchen workers and orderlies.

Council of Trade Unions President Ross Wilson made it clear to District Health Board representatives this afternoon that the DHBs needed to actively promote a settlement using a national pay scale which DHBs themselves had signed up to.

Wilson also made it clear that it was unacceptable for DHBs to appear to support or condone the lockout.

Service and Food Workers Union spokesperson Alastair Duncan says a number of Boards have adopted an aggressive approach to locked out workers and that this contrasts with the public role of hospitals as places of caring and compassion.

“Letting in private operators such as Spotless to run core services does not mean DHBs have delegated control of their premises to a third party. The right of union members to assemble peacefully and reasonably is one that we would expect would be defended by any responsible and community focused DHB."

Alastair Duncan says the Boards now have a responsibility to ensure that Spotless is not able to gain any commercial advantage or undercut a national pay deal which every other responsible employer, including the Boards themselves, have agreed to.

“We welcome the invitation from the CTU for the DHBs to review their position and take a pro-active and positive lead in putting an end to low pay and the lockout.”

Representatives of the NZ Nurses Organisation, the Public Service Association and National Distribution Union supported the CTU call.

Ends.

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