Hos­pi­tal ser­vices work­ers get rise

The Northland Age - - Local News -

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.”

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