Share Button standard

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who has the power?

Who has the power?
What kind of power?

This was one of the chants that rang out on the picket lines outside many of our public hospitals over the last week.
Hospital cleaners, orderlies and kitchen staff are to be congratulated for staying staunch in the face of the nine-day lockout by their employer, Spotless. The lockout of the 800 Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) members involved was yesterday declared illegal by the Employment Court.
Spotless has now acceded to the terms of the multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) already agreed by the District Health Boards (DHBs) and three other contractors. This is a great victory for the Spotless employees and the more than two thousand other hospital workers who will gain significant pay increases as a result.
The future of contracting-out is now under question by workers, their unions, some DHBs and by Labour MP, Mark Gosche. Why use private multi-national contractors, especially now that DHB service workers are on common pay and conditions across the whole sector?
Contracting out was introduced in the 1990s by a National Government to cut costs in the health sector. This meant wage and job cuts.
It is time to bring health sector workers back into direct employment by the DHBs. Service workers are essential for the healthy and efficient operation of hospitals and deserve decent pay and conditions.

No comments: