Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Time for the government to pay up

Yesterday, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation voted to take strike action. While they'd been offered a half billion dollar pay package by DHBs, this was mostly focused on divide and rule and raising salaries for those already at the top of the pay scale, with only crumbs for the overworked and underpaid masses at the bottom. And clearly, their membership felt that this was unacceptable, that after nine long years of austerity under National, they deserved more.

And they're right. They do deserve more. And the government has to pay up. Pleading poverty won't help - everyone knows that their "poverty" is entirely self-inflicted, a voluntary adherence to National's budget targets in a vain effort to please the business community (who will never be pleased, so there's no point). But people elected this government to fix the social infrastructure National had eroded, to make sure we had schools and hospitals which actually work. The bill for that is now due. Either they can pay up and promise more money, or they can see those hospitals stop working and pay the political price for that.