While the work of district health board members often goes unseen, they help make critical decisions about the health services you and your whānau receive in your communities.
That’s why in 2019 we urge you to vote for DHB candidates who support four priorities which are crucial for our workers in district health boards, and for all of us who may need health services now or in the future:
We believe that work at all levels of the health and disability sector should be properly valued and paid accordingly.
The value of better pay and working conditions is immense, helping to improve staff morale and retention, reduce workloads, and ensure consistent services.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure our equal pay claims for DHB admin workers, nursing, and allied, public health, and technical workers have backing at DHB board level.
As alarming rates of attacks and abuse against health workers continue to be reported, the need for safer staffing levels has never been more urgent.
DHBs must recognise that safe workplace environments are a prime requirement for the development of the health workforce and the provision of high-quality services.
Low staffing levels also contribute to a downward spiral of increased workloads, staff burnout, and more staff leaving.
We want candidates who understand that workforce shortages must be addressed to reverse that trend, and build capability to meet increasing demand.
DHB candidates should also back the implementation of the recommendations in the Mental Health and Addiction Government Inquiry report.
They include expanding access and choice, strong action on alcohol and drugs, and preventing suicide. While the Government has accepted or agreed to consider 38 of the recommendations, the PSA wants the voice of workers to be considered by decision makers including DHBs as they are implemented.
There also needs be an emphasis on developing a workforce that can deliver the services that are needed.
Two candidates who have been strong advocates on mental health issues alongside the PSA are Auckland DHB candidate Kyle MacDonald and Capital and Coast DHB member Eileen Brown.
Former PSA member and Auckland DHB member Zoe Brownlie is another candidate who is passionate about mental health issues.
It includes expectations public service leaders work in partnership with Māori to deliver services that work for Māori, and develop a workforce that reflects the community it serves.
While the Government’s plan for public service reform does not reverse many of the neo-liberal elements of the State Sector Act it still represents a significant step forward. The reforms will provide better mechanisms to enable cross agency work and help break down silos in government.
“As a school social worker I’m responsible for more than 600 kids and I earn about the same amount as I did twenty years ago working in a bank.”