• Posted on: 31/08/2023
  • 2 minutes to read

Whakarongorau Aotearoa telehealth workers will rally across Aotearoa for fair pay and respect tomorrow on Friday September 1st.

Members of the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi and New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa will rally in Auckland, Wellington, Greymouth, and Christchurch.

"A health worker being one phone call away is a life-saving service to our communities. But the people on the other end of line of major telehealth services run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa - like Healthline, 1737 Need To Talk?, the COVID Helpline and many others - are facing real-terms pay cuts," says PSA Organiser Angelyse Armstrong.

"We’ve been calling for a cost-of-living pay adjustment to keep up with rising costs and make sure we can look after ourselves so we can show up to work to look after others. But all Whakarongorau has offered is 2.5% which is a pay cut," says PSA delegate, Jayne McQuarrie.

"We, as clinicians, need to live too. People on our team are worrying about making their rent payments, putting food on the table, and getting kids to school," she continues.

"We’re rallying today to call on them to do the right thing and give us the fair pay and respect we deserve."

With rising need in the last few years and greater strain on the health system, people working at Whakarongorau Aotearoa have seen the conditions of their roles become more challenging.

"There is a rising expectation of us to take more calls with more people, and manage more risk, with a rising acuity of people in distress with no more resources," says PSA delegate Sue Hooper.

"I’m worried that staff are leaving because of the pay and conditions at a time when people showing up to overloaded emergency rooms are being told to leave and call our telehealth services like Healthline instead," she explains.

Workers are undertaking a strike ballot for potential action over 24 hours from 3pm on Friday September 15 th.

Members rallying tomorrow staff telehealth services as counsellors, tele-triage nurses, social workers, paramedics, mental health and addictions advisors and more clinical and administrative professions. Rallies will take place on Friday September 1 st at these time and locations:

  • Auckland: 8:30am-9:30am & 4:30pm-5:30pm, Whakarongorau Head Office, 25 College Hill, Auckland Central
  • Wellington: 8:30am-9:30am, Whakarongorau, Level 5, 36 Customhouse Quay, Wellington Central
  • Christchurch: 8:30am-9:30am, Whakarongorau, 365 Madras Street, Christchurch Central
  • Greymouth: 4:00pm-6:00pm, Kumara Junction