The Green Party supports the 10,000 allied health workers who were due to strike today and calls on DHBs to do the right thing and make a decent pay offer.
“A strong public health system depends on the wellbeing of its health care workers, who must be paid fairly and treated equally,” says Jan Logie, the Green Party’s spokesperson for workplace relations & safety.
“This morning thousands of health care workers will be going to work, as they do every day, to put the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders first. And they will do so while being underpaid, overworked, and undervalued by their employers at the DHBs.
“Yesterday the Employment Court ordered these workers not to strike in an effort to improve their pay and working conditions.
“Striking is a measure of last resort. It is a sign of how desperately bad things have gotten for thousands of allied health workers.
“These are people who dedicate their working lives to keeping us safe and well - and who have gone above and beyond during a global pandemic. I am sure they would always rather do this work than go on strike.
“But when you’re not even paid enough to cover the basic necessities of life or are overworked to the point of exhaustion - and your employer refuses to make it better - striking is one of the only options that remain.
“The Green Party is disappointed that the DHBs have focused their energy on stopping one day of strike action, rather than on making sure our essential health care workers are paid in a way that recognises the skills, experience and dedication they bring to their work.
“These are our lab technicians, our social workers, and our occupational therapists, contact tracers, audiologists, and many more essential workers, many of whom are not even paid a living wage.
“We all need to show our support for these people and their efforts to improve their work conditions so they can do their jobs safely and well.”