Media Releases

New Government’s first priority is to reduce workers’ rights

28 October 2014

Thousands of nurses who made submissions against the Employment Relations Bill last year are disappointed to hear that the Bill is likely to pass its third reading tonight.

NZNO industrial services manager, Cee Payne says, “We are nurses, caregivers, health professionals – and we care that fairness has just been removed from our workplaces. Over the last decade we have worked incredibly hard to build constructive relationships with health sector employers; it is hard to know how these changes will affect those relationships, we will have to wait and see.”

“We are concerned about the impact of these changes on the health outcomes and patient care for the people of Aotearoa. While these changes are being painted as ‘moderate’ and ‘innocuous’ we know they will reduce wages even further in this country for those who can least afford it.”

“Growing unemployment, the increasingly precarious nature of work being offered to employees, along with the Employment Relations Act changes will serve to maintain and extend a competitive, cut throat environment for potential employees seeking work. Those who are willing to work for the least - and under the worst terms and conditions - will have a job but they will also be contributing to the downward pressure on wages and increasing poverty gap in our country. Poverty is a key social determinant of poor health.” Ms Payne says.

“We will continue to oppose these changes – we are not willing to stand silent when there is so much at stake in terms of fairness for workers, stability in the health sector and the health of our people.”

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