Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What's their name again?

Labour is supposed to be the party of workers. So what do they think of the current junior doctors strike? Oddly, they're against it:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reprimanded resident doctors for continuing their five-day national strike, despite facilitation talks between their union and district health boards being scheduled for early May.

Resident doctors walked off the job at hospitals around New Zealand at 8am yesterday in what is believed to be the longest stopwork staged by doctors.

DHBs want to vary existing "safe staffing" rosters to allow greater flexibility, while the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association opposes any alteration to work conditions.

The Government has largely stayed out of the dispute and called on both sides to reach a solution, but yesterday Ms Ardern said the RDA should have suspended the strike until after the facilitation talks.

"I very much would have very hoped those issues could have been resolved at the negotiating table," she said.

There have been previous negotiations. They have been fruitless. And the reason that they have been fruitless is the DHB's - that is, the government's - insistence that doctors return to working unsafe hours. These hours are more convenient for DHB's, in that they let them understaff hospitals and so save money - but they are not safe for patients or doctors.

Ardern heads the government whose agents are making these demands. A Labour government would support the right of workers to a safe working environment (and the right of patients to safe care). But as we've learned from their swearing off a capital gains tax forever, Labour - whose ministers are all paid $250,000 a year, remember - just doesn't stand for that stuff any more. Which means their name is just another lie, a bait-and-switch to solicit votes from people who wouldn't vote for them if they were honest about what they stood for and who they supported.