Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Funding Of Buses And Ambulances Must Be On Agenda In Today’s Budget

Today’s Budget will be a test of the Government’s commitment to solving long-standing problems in public transport and emergency care, and to be successful, it must begin the process of rescuing our bus and ambulances services from the brink of failure and honour existing agreements to provide fair wages and conditions that are now years overdue, FIRST Union said today.

"Today’s Budget will let us know whether or not the Government has any intention of stepping in to fix our broken bus and ambulance services," said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.

"Bus drivers were promised a living wage as part of Labour’s election campaign and it hasn’t been delivered. Likewise, many ambulance officers will suffer a pay cut this year due to their employer’s brutal negotiating tactics. If the Government is unable to provide simple protections for its most trusted public servants due to interference from its current providers, it has to move towards public ownership."

"This Budget must include some kind of funding to avoid this pay cut for 2021 and ideally offer some indication that the Government has reconsidered rolling the ambulance service into the newly-announced Health NZ, which is an absolute no-brainer."

FIRST Union members at St John say the service is overwhelmed, and after consistently combative negotiations between St John and ambulance officers, Mr Abbott says public ownership via the Health NZ entity is the only option to avoid continued mismanagement of the service.

"Meanwhile, bus drivers have been caught up in a game of pass-the-problem between bus operators, councils and politicians, and most of them still do not earn a living wage or claim the pay packet intended for them by taxpayers," said Mr Abbott.

"There is a reason we’re struggling to find good bus drivers and keep them in the job - it’s a difficult career already and is made all the more so by employers who have deliberately kept wages low to compete for council contracts by bidding low."

"The Government’s Budget today could indicate whether or not someone - councils, operators, or the Government themselves - will directly fund the living wage that was promised to these drivers or continue to play the blame game."

Tomorrow, FIRST Union will be a part of the Council of Trade Unions’ Budget analysis event and Mr Abbott will be available during the Q&A session to answer any questions.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon

Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>


Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>

Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>

National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>

Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>




InfoPages News Channels