The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora says today’s strike by allied health workers is a clear sign of the frustration with DHBs’ attitude towards pay negotiations in the health sector.
Up to 10,000 DHB staff who are members of the PSA have walked off the job today after more than a year of failed talks over pay and conditions. They include technicians, dieticians, social workers, physiotherapists, audiologists, medical photographers, and contact tracers.
“These people are part of the glue that holds our public hospitals together. They provide invaluable support to our own members and play a major role in the therapy and care of patients, along with the smooth running of health services,” says ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton.
“They deserve better.”
ASMS continues to be disappointed and frustrated that health unions must seek assistance from the Employment Relations Authority to counter DHB intransigence in contract talks.
Senior doctors have had to resort to facilitated talks to try to progress their own drawn-out contract negotiations, which remain unresolved.
Sarah Dalton says the situation is even more disappointing given that health workers have been going the extra mile during Covid while also coping with entrenched staffing shortages.
“It is trying to do health on the cheap and it’s coming at the cost of an overburdened health workforce. The Government needs to show that it values health workers and get its house in order before the arrival of Health NZ on 1 July,” says Sarah Dalton.