Alliance backs striking medical staff

Published: Thu 30 Nov 2006 10:37 AM
Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday 30 November 2006
Alliance backs striking medical staff
The Alliance Party has backed striking medical staff saying that they are committed and responsible health workers who have been taken advantage of for too long.
Alliance Party President Victor Billot says the health workers have been subject to a media smear campaign.
"The medical workers involved in these industrial actions are people who have worked for many years in the public health system, and deserve the support and respect of all fair-minded New Zealanders."
He says that the disgusting thing about many of the senior health system figures involved in the attacks is the fact they are paid extremely well.
"The crawler mentality is alive and well – that is, never blame the crook system, never blame the managers and the top level raking it in, but always blame the workers when they finally have to act to protect their interests."
"It seems to be when the highly paid professionals take off overseas, we worry about the brain drain and call for tax cuts for the already wealthy, but when low paid workers committed to the New Zealand health system withdraw their labour, they are branded as almost criminal like."
"It is hypocrisy and it stinks."
Mr Billot said as long as New Zealanders voted for parties who did not fund the health system properly, the problems would continue.
He says the Alliance supports a dedicated health levy as part of tax which would properly fund the health system and ensure appropriate pay rates for workers.
Mr Billot says the Labour Government is stepping back and letting workers take stick for a situation it should be dealing with.
He says the health workers are paid poorly and their requests were reasonable.
All workers should have the right to withdraw their labour in a free society, he says.

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