The salaries of district health board bosses should be reined in, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“There’s something very out of whack when we have our hospitals so squeezed for cash they are cutting back on frontline staff while CEOs are pocketing salary increases of up to 13 per cent.
“Nurses have had to fight for months to get a miniscule pay rise; mental health workers were forced into taking strike action.
“We know the Government has underfunded the sector to the tune of $1.7 billion over six years, and that there are there are positions for medical professionals that have been budgeted for but not filled because the money was needed elsewhere.
“To see that the CEO MidCentral is now earning more than eight times the average full-time pay for a senior nurse, while Auckland DHB’s head is receiving 10 percent-plus more than last year will go down like a lead balloon to the many, many dedicated workers who keep our public hospitals ticking over.
“No-one begrudges reward for good work, but you can’t tell me a nurse at the coalface in a busy ED or a mental health worker who deals with all manner of difficult situations, isn’t doing the hard yards.
“It’s time there was a check on what our CEOs earn and a more equal system that rewards everyone from the hospital porter up,” Annette King says.