• Posted on: 15/12/2021
  • 2 minutes to read
  • Tagged with: District Health Boards Network Women's

DHB members went to Parliament in October to push for the speedy resolution of their equal pay claims.

They presented the Stop Getting Us on the Cheap petition with almost 7,000 signatures supporting equal pay for DHB admin and clerical, and Allied Health, Public, Scientific and Technical members to Health Minister Andrew Little.

Hutt Valley switchboard operator Maude Whatuira arrived at the Beehive after a night shift taking calls.

“I want it now,” she told Te Mahinga Ora, when asked why she had come.

“We’ve been waiting for a while. Let’s hope this will nudge them in the right direction. I believe in the cause.”

The DHB admin claim for about 8,700 workers was first lodged back in April 2018.

So far the only offer to settle their claim would have left them waiting until 2023 to achieve 2019 equal pay rates.

WEEKLY STRUGGLE

PSA national secretary Kerry Davies said it was plain wrong to have to be back at Parliament demanding pay equity for DHB admin workers, rather than celebrating a settlement.

“Equal pay delayed is equal pay denied,” she told the Minister.

Capital & Coast DHB delegate Nia Bartley spoke of the hurt and suffering members were feeling.

“We have people on one income raising children struggling week to week just to put food on the table.”

“A lot of members wanted to come but they couldn’t because we are so understaffed.”

Nia said plenty of “heart, blood, sweat and tears” had gone into a collection of members’ stories which were also presented to Andrew Little.

Canterbury DHB delegate Nancy McShane said equal pay would make a “critical difference” for members.

“Why are women still fighting? How much more time must we wait for financial equality?”

ACKNOWLEDGING FRUSTRATION

Minister Little acknowledged the frustration of members.

He said the government had “literally put aside hundreds of millions of dollars to meet the cost of the claims”.

But he said the process was not simple, with hundreds of roles broken down and compared, and it was important to get alignment across the health sector.

“We are committed to working with you, your sector and employer. We will get there and get the right result.”

Kerry says the PSA will continue to put pressure on the government to settle the claims.

DHB admin members are now lobbying to get an updated mandate to enable an updated settlement offer to be made before Christmas.

“We want them to show our members they’re worth 100% now.”

The claim for Allied members is in the assessment phase.