'Twas the night before equity

A heartfelt message from DHB administration and clerical workers to the Minister of Health, Andrew Little

'Twas the night before equity...

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and try as she might,
Annie the Ward Clerk couldn’t get home that night.
Taking on overtime, as because of low pay,
She couldn’t afford food upon Christmas Day!

“Can I afford presents?” Annie thought in a rage,
“If only I made a damn living wage!
I’m the Heart of the Hospital, that’s what they say,
Why am I still waiting for equal pay?"

The children were sleeping, with dreams of the morn,
When tinsel and baubles the house would adorn.
But Annie was stressed, if only they knew –
The bill for the power was long overdue!

When out on the lawn, there rose such a clatter,
The kids sprang from their beds to see what was the matter,
“Mum’s still at work, so who could that be?”,
What they saw through the window made them yell out with glee!

It was old Santa Claus, with hat, sleigh and sack,
Which rustled like paper as it sat on his back.
The children were waiting as he came down the chute,
“Oh Santa Claus, please show us the loot!”

“Now hang on children” the jolly chap said,
Your presents are coming – they’re up on my sled!
What I’m here to deliver is for your mother, you see –
I’m delivering the promise on Pay Equity!

He opened his sack, and the cash poured out,
When the kids saw the money, they gave a great shout!
Thanks to the hard work of the PSA,
It was ’21 rates, and even backpay!

Santa Clause grinned, for well he could see,
This meant Annie could live with some dignity.
“Others are waiting, so now I must dash”
Before they could blink he was gone, like a flash.

When DHB Admin woke on Christmas Day,
It was to find out at last that they had equal pay!
For Santa was not just delivering a gift,
He delivered on the promise that made spirits lift!

Annie was pulled from her haze with a jerk,
She was still at her desk, she’d been sleeping at work!
As her manager looked upon her with a glare,
Poor Annie the Ward Clerk could feel nought but despair.

It had all been a dream, she thought with a groan,
(For one thing the kids were not home alone!)
But that wasn’t all, as she held back a tear,
Annie knew that Pay Equity may not come this year.

We’re not asking for much – of all things on this earth,
We just want DHB Admin to be paid what they’re worth.
We’ve soldiered through COVID, we’ve got on with the job,
Another year of low pay is a kick in the gob.

Oh Santa Claus, reach into your sack,
And settle our claim – please pick up the slack!
We’ve been waiting three years, and we’re starting to balk,
We know all these promises aren’t just empty talk.

So if in ’22 the struggle goes on,
We'll keep going until sexist pay rates are gone.
So join with your colleagues, though dark is the hour,
We’ll win in the end if we build worker power.

To Admin and Clerical: we say “thank you”,
For continuing with the work that you do.
So until the day that we all see the light,