Meanwhile, spare a thought for thousands of lowly paid cleaners who do essential work in our hospitals. Members of the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) are trying to settle their collective agreement and address huge pay issues but are getting the run around from the companies that hold the cleaning contracts, and the DHB’s who run the hospitals.
Two days of mediation have failed to halt pending large scale industrial action in New Zealand’s public hospitals involving 2800 service workers.
SFWU spokesperson Alastair Duncan says the four private contract companies which employ two-thirds of the workforce told the union it was the responsibility of the District Health Boards (DHBs) to find any additional funding needed to settle the dispute.
Alastair Duncan says the union then formally requested the District Health Boards make a joint approach to the Government for additional funding, but this request was rejected by DHBs.
“While further mediation is desirable, we expect the nationwide action will start on Thursday 31st May.”
“The DHBs have the power to settle this dispute and to end poverty pay in public hospitals. Tragically they do not appear to have the political will.”