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Robertson: Frontline Medical And Teaching Staff Have Pay Frozen By Government

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Grant Robertson
Grant Robertson

2 JULY 2009 - Frontline teachers, doctors and nurses have been today told by Finance Minister Bill English that they will not be receiving pay increases from 2010, Labour State Services Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.

"Bill English today told Parliament that because teachers, doctors and nurses had job security they would not be receiving pay increases when their current agreements end or for the foreseeable future" Grant Robertson said.

"This is incredibly short-sighted and raises the prospect of industrial action from next year.

"Furthermore New Zealand risks becoming a recruiting ground for other countries seeking to lure our best and brightest teachers and medical personnel overseas.

"Already large numbers of our doctors and nurses head overseas to work and this will only get worse if pay rates are not kept competitive.

"Even more frightening is Mr English's claim that teachers, doctors and nurses will in future have their pay linked to productivity.

"Applying an accountants standard or productivity to teachers and medical professionals is ridiculous.

"It is ridiculous that Bill English is part of a Government that is prepared to pay a ministerial purchase advisor up to $2000 a day but isn't prepared to ensure our frontline workers are paid what they are worth.

"His comment that the days of teachers, nurses and doctors seeking pay raises from Ministers 'is over' is an insult to these people who work tirelessly to educate and improve the health of Kiwis.

"The salaries paid to teachers and nurses can hardly be described as lavish, but without providing these people with a sense that their work is valued then New Zealand will almost certainly see a mass exodus of these highly skilled and valued professionals heading overseas.

"Bill English clearly believes that he and his government can use the recession as an excuse to run down public health and public education workforces," Grant Robertson said.

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