Hospital services workers get rise
About 3500 hospital services workers nationwide, including in Northland, will receive a pay rise of up to 40 per cent over the next three years.
Trade union E Tu’s national hospital co-ordinator Sam Jones said negotiations for a new multi-employer agreement (MECA) for 2000 district health board employees at he country’s 20 DHBs had been settled.
Similar agreements for contractors, with the same rates, are expected to be voted on within weeks.
“This is a fantastic outcome for members who have struggled with costs rising faster than their low wages,” Jones said.
“It’s a major investment by the DHBs and the Government in the lowest-paid workers in our public hospitals and helps deliver on the Government’s promise to lift the standard of those at the bottom. It’ll be easier for people to pay the bills and feed their families properly so they’re healthier and happier.”
For Auckland DHB cleaner Lena Hiku the news is life changing.
The mother-of-two has worked six to seven days every week for the past 19 years, in order to put food on the table for her children, pay a mortgage and keep on top of her “ever-growing” weekly bills.
Under the new agreement, a level 3 qualified cleaner will get a pay jump from $19.29 an hour to $25.58 by March 2021.
“No longer are we talking an increase in cents but in dollars, which would be life changing for me,” Hiku said.
“It would mean I’d finally be able to have my weekends free to spend time with my family and go to church on Sundays.”
Health Minister David Clark said he was pleased the workers, who were doing valuable work in our hospitals, were benefiting from the agreement.
“Labour campaigned on lifting wages for lower-paid workers, including giving decent pay increases to those on the minimum wage.”