And they wonder why they’ve been outsourced

The SWFU is now undertaking an illegal industrial action at Auckland Hospital after their members walked off the job after learning they have been outsourced.

Unionised food workers have walked off the job today at Auckland City Hospital in protest against a contracting-out decision they say will cost jobs and be bad for patients.

The Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata district health boards announced today they had agreed to a proposal to increase the involvement of the Compass Group from next December in food preparation and delivery at public hospitals and clinics. The scheme is expected to save $80 million to $90 million over 15 years.

Auckland DHB said Compass already provided 44 per cent of patient meals in New Zealand, including those served at Waitemata and Counties DHBs. Of the three DHBs, Auckland, whose food services are currently provided in-house, will impose the most changes.

Its chief executive Ailsa Claire said there would be no kitchen closures and all DHB food service staff would be offered the opportunity to transfer their employment to Compass on their existing terms and conditions.

So, they are keeping their jobs, just transferring to a new employer with the same terms and conditions…tell me again why they are now conducting an illegal strike?

Ms Claire’s media liaison officer said no jobs were being lost. When asked how money could be saved if no jobs were not being lost, he said, “I don’t think that detail is something we can release yet.”

No jobs lost…tell me again why they are conducting an illegal strike?

It is little wonder that the DHBs have decided to outsource when you have unions conducting illegal strikes in a fit of pique.



– NZ Herald



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  • jude

    What gets me, is this happens in a year. Next December the workers effectively have a new employer.
    They can transfer their contracts across to Compass.
    This is again showing how harmful unions can be to businesses.
    The unions are largely redundant>..shame MSM are not being a more factual in their reporting and less emotional.

  • Justsayn

    Maybe they make the savings by not having to pay pointless union fees? Or maybe it is something more mundane like increased purchasing power enabling better deals on ingredients.

    • Whitey

      Inferior ingredients was my guess, but you may well be right.

      • Justsayn

        You assume that it is possible to get inferior ingredients. Maybe, but I’m skeptical!

  • symgardiner

    There will be no layoffs because these staff have walked :) Instant massive saving. And they will be the least productive staff too.

  • Just imagine the chaos if Angry Little had been PM!

  • I know when i was in Wellington Hospital last year that the food preparation (my window was above the kitchens, so I heard them all day everyday for the 7 days i was there)& delivery seems to be a job for mates. From the noises made in the kitchen, everyone seemed to know everybody elses family. Not saying thats wrong, and the food once i was able to eat it was certainly good food, but it might give an idea of the culture within that type of organisation and the thought patterns that could lead to a strike. If you interupt their change of friends in the kitchen management, you would be changing not just a business, but to their mind Family.

  • CheesyEarWax

    They are striking because they have jobs? My goodness, this is the end of the world as we know it.

  • Anyone else ever notice how “industrial action” always ramps up and the rhetoric is always belligerent when Labour are in opposition?

    I’m only surprised the Wharfies at the Ports haven’t gone on strike yet over some imagined slight… but there’s always next week.

    Remind me again how the unions can help increase productivity?

    • Justsayn

      By doing stuff that helps things, and providing advice about stuff in relation to things, and defending the poor from things and stuff, and negotiating stuff with people and things, and deciding who leads the Labour Party and stuff. Catch up Bloke! Crucial they are, crucial.

    • Disinfectant

      Now “bloke” they have or are about to.
      Blog Lyttelton and you will have the answer.

  • Backdoor

    A very simple answer to the question. Outsourcing makes the provision of meals someone else’s problem in the future. Compass fail to fill the contract because their workers go no strike and the DHB lets the contract to someone else.

  • Ilovelife

    I heard an interview with the “strike” leader today on National radio. She said nobody was on strike, they were all on sick leave because they were so stressed about their job situation. She also said they would all probably be on sick leave tomorrow too. Did you ever hear the like?

    • ex-JAFA

      Such widespread illness in a hospital kitchen of all places would suggest that it ought to be shut down immediately on safety grounds!

    • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

      Is that legal? Im guessing it is but it must be stretching things.

      If I was the boss I would be looking at how I would make sure this sort of widespread “Sickness” never happened again.

      • Damon Mudgway

        When it comes to ‘stress’, no boss is gonna win that fight.

      • kiwirog

        I was once a director of a large company. Almost all of our blue collar workers took all their holiday pay every year — defacto leave, nothing you could do if the employees were reasonably cunning. In fact, I think I remember reading of an employer who ran into an employee in the airport when he was on supposed sick leaved and the employment court said the sacking of said liar was illegal. When on my local school board I observed the same behaviour with the teachers. Its endemic. This is one of the small factors driving outsourcing to companies which have keen and non unionised workforces.

  • kiwirog

    The unions actually want to make important decisions in the running of many businesses. They put up no capital yet think they deserve a say. On safety where they provide inputs, yes, on efficiency no. Personally, I have always found the best tactic when not being treated as i like in a job to leave.

  • Grocersgirl

    I wonder why this is happening just before Christmas THIS year when the changes will not be taking effect till December NEXT year?

  • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

    Must be time for the ferries to go on strike for the xmas break. Maybe an airline strike would be due as well.

    • I.M Bach

      No need mate; the propellers will fall off the ferries and fog will ground all the planes.

  • HunuaRanger

    A strike is only legal if there has been a breakdown in collective bargaining, or for health and safety reasons, so what recourse does the DHB’s have?
    A lockout and Immediate increase in the involvement of the compass group, perhaps?

  • oldmanNZ

    how will they save money with no Job lost?

    well obviuosly, the Unions have not a clue?

    For a start, all these words the Union will hate.

    Efficiency, Productivity, KPI, Streamlining.

    in another words, the workers will actually have to do some work.

  • Tom

    Just lock them out and reemploy at half the price. No previous employees need apply.

  • George Carter

    Can’t make the food any worse, it was disgusting when I was in there last year and delivered by the most miserable person you’ve ever met!