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.