Strikes are a hallmark of this government

The chain reaction of strikes has become a hallmark of this coalition government as battle worn district hospital boards (DHBs) continue to fight with unions.

Interest.co.nz says it has been decades since strikes of this magnitude last occurred.* Scoop reports on the latest: quote.

Employed midwives are striking for two hours, twice a day, over a two-week period through to 5 December. In all, 540 strike notices have been issued by MERAS, the midwives’ union, to the 20 DHBs.”

Women in labour need not fear being abandoned to their partners to deliver their babies as midwives provide “life-preserving services” (LPS) and must have someone on hand.  Hence the four-hour rolling strike split into two 2-hour chunks a day.End of quote.

Midwives rejected the DHBs’ latest proposal to align their pay with nurses in this long-running pay dispute because they think they can get a better deal than the nurses did. Quote.

A decision by members of MERAS not to accept a DHB pay offer has nothing to do with being worth more, less or the same as nurses.

We have a different code of practice, different expertise and have a different history to nurses. Other health professionals like physiotherapists and occupational therapists have pay differentials that reflect their qualifications, level of responsibility and scope of practice. Why shouldn’t midwives have their pay rates set in the same way?” End of quote.

Yeah, nah, the real reason is that midwives think they can get more money than the nurses did. Everyone thinks this government is a soft touch.

On the AM show this week Duncan Garner reminded Judith Collins that she had forewarned strike action under a Labour government before the election, saying if they were elected there would be ‘strike, strike, strike’.

Collins said it was easy to predict the strikes when Labour ‘were rarking up issues, but they were also over promising a lot and particularly with this new industrial legislation coming down the pipeline it is simply empowering unions to go on strike to get members to push people around.

Collins also said Labour had overpromised when they gave away free tertiary education fees when they didn’t need to do it when there was already student loans in place.  That sent a signal to everyone in the public services that you might as well get something.’

Collins has been proved correct.

Teachers are threatening the mother of all strikes next year because they still haven’t got what they want. Larry Williams commented on Newstalk drive. Quote.

Primary teachers think they can milk more from the government, despite a firm line being drawn in the sand.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says there’s no more money the government can offer teachers, after the Ministry’s latest offer last week.

NZEI president Lynda Stuart told Larry Williams if their members vote to reject the offer, she’s prepared to keep pushing for more.

“The Government’s got a $5.5 billion surplus, and just to say that there is no money when we are facing this crisis is probably not helpful.” End of quote.

There you go – the promise of money in the kitty is enough incentive to push on for more money for me.

Habitual strikes will only end when the money dries up or we see a change in government.


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