By Steve Dellar  |  07-12-2018   News
Photo credit: @HurlbutKandace

After months of negotiations broke down and the sector refused a two year offered pay increase of 12.5% by the government, some 30,000 nurses in New Zealand went on a 24-hour nationwide strike, the first in the country for 30 years.

Acting prime minister Mr Winston Peters (Prime Minister Ms Jacinda Ardern is at home after the birth of her first child) explained that the New Zealand government was “very, very disappointed” as their increase offer was rejected. According to them, the nine years of neglect for the healthcare sector salaries to be adapted is due to the previous National government.

Mr Peters: “We are saying give us some time. It’s not that we’re not willing to, we haven’t got the money.”

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“We’ve gone as far as we can go as a government. We got hold of a negotiated arrangement which we inherited, the nurses have had a raw nine years.”

Related coverage: https://thegoldwater.com/news/29591-New-Zealand-PM-Ardern-Leaves-Hospital-With-Newborn-Prime-Miniature-Daughter-Video

According to the nurses participating in the strikes, most of them claim to be overworked and underpaid and are encountering unsafe working conditions.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Many of these nurses have just finished the night shift. They say they’re tired but excited to be out and protesting. <a href="https://t.co/Wmrux5F3Uz">pic.twitter.com/Wmrux5F3Uz</a></p>&mdash; Nita Blake-Persen (@nitabp) <a href="https://twitter.com/nitabp/status/1017133774419550208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 11, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Wellington nurse Ms Erin Kennedy: “Ten years of underfunding have left our hospitals in such a state that patients and nurses are, more often than not, unsafe.”

“Chances are there will not be time to properly read every patient’s notes, or ensure that all patient needs are met.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">New Zealand is wasting $2.3b on US warplanes that can hunt Chinese submarines. It’s a mafia tax NZ has to pay to be part of US Empire.<br><br>All of this while NZ nurses can’t earn enough to afford a decent living. Our nurses keep Kiwis alive and $2.3b could fix our broken hospitals.</p>&mdash; Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) <a href="https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/1016584499340046341?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 10, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Meanwhile the political opposition, the National Party, claimed that the Labour government of PM Ardern had simply made promises it couldn’t keep, raising worker’s expectations too high, too fast. MP Mr Michael Woodhouse claimed: “The effect of this strike on patients and the wider health sector will be extremely significant.”

“The nurses were also frustrated that the government entered the facilitation process saying ‘that’s all the money there is’ and this is the effect of it. This move did not reflect good-faith bargaining and it is now unclear how the situation will be resolved … the government has completely lost control of the process due to its mishandling.”

Next month, on 15 August to be exact, school teachers will also hold a nationwide strike in what is seen more and more as a serious first test for PM Ardern’s government.

Source:

https://twitter.com/nitabp/status/1017133774419550208

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Jeff Allen No. 31032 1531403786
Wow! I hope China takes New Zealand first when they choose to expand. That will help nurses. I wonder what they get paid in Russia or China....must be a lucrative operation in any socialized nation which I'm sure the unions want.
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