Bargaining team spotlight - David Robiony-Rogers

David is a Clinical Physiologist in Respiratory Medicine Service at Wellington Regional Hospital. Here he talks about why collective bargaining is important and why DHB members are worth respect.

DavidRRI have worked in health care for the past 30 years. My training and formative years were spent in the UK NHS. I then worked for many years in the Middle East and have been in my current position with Capital & Coast DHB for the past 12 years.

During my time in health care I have observed the challenges faced every day by those who work in our environment. I have sat at the management tables and discussed ways to help improve access to health care, how to achieve health targets, and more importantly how to help improve the lives of our patients and their families.What I have learnt is that regardless of where each of us has come from we are all striving to improve the lives and wellbeing of all who are born and live in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I joined the PSA as a member several years ago because I was impressed with the philosophy of being there to support and fight for the rights of everyday Kiwis, to provide support and advice to those who may be struggling in their jobs or who have issues at work and needed support and help to work through them. I joined because I saw a group of people who were working to support each other and improve the worth of each individual through common goals and actions. I saw a group of people who were open to new and challenging ideas and where who you are and where you come from did not change your value to the group. In essence I joined the PSA because together we are all stronger than we are as individuals.

I joined the PSA bargaining team in 2013/14. In previous years I had been involved in industrial negotiations and felt that my experience in this area, along with my many years in the health care environment would bring experiences that could help the team. I am outspoken at times so I enjoy being in an environment where others share their experiences and ideas as this allows me to grow and adapt my thinking. I was nominated for the current bargaining team because I wanted to carry on with a strong bargaining team where we left off at the end of the last MECA negotiations.

Why do I do this? I believe in the New Zealand Health System. Whilst there are issues on the whole we provide all Kiwis with a high level of health care and for this to continue we need a health workforce that feels valued and suitably remunerated.

I am not an idealist. We must account for every tax payer dollar we spend in health and that includes what we spend on our employees’ salaries. However, we all need to live and pay our bills, look after our families and not need to worry about where the next dollar is coming from so that we can afford good food.

I would like for us to fight to achieve social equity in our pay scales so that those on the lowest salaries achieve a fair and equitable pay increase and are not disadvantaged compared to those on the highest each time we bargain a pay rise.