News from NZ Labour Party
While Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne was boasting about increasing access to free flu vaccinations today, he forgot to mention that Parliament’s cleaners and catering staff are missing out on the free flu jabs Parliamentary staff and MPs are entitled to, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s spokesperson on labour issues.
“Cleaning and catering staff at Parliament are probably more exposed to flu risk than most people who work in the complex, yet because they are not directly employed by Parliamentary Services, they miss out on this essential preventive measure.
“These workers are the lowest paid in Parliament. They work for minimum wage or just above. For most paying for a flu injection is a big ask.
“It’s unacceptable to say this isn’t our problem, because they are employed by contractors, not Parliamentary Service.
“I suspect there would be howls of outrage from MPs if cleaners and catering workers suddenly went down with the flu and MPs had to clean their own offices and toilets, and cook their own food.
“It is in everyone’s interests that cleaners and catering workers are protected in the same way as MPs and other workers at Parliament. If they get sick they expose others, including their children and family members, to the flu. Let’s remember that this can be deadly.
“I intend to take this up with Parliamentary Services and hope other political parties will support Labour’s call to extend flu injections to all staff working in the Parliamentary complex.”