The expected early arrival of Aotearoa New Zealand’s first vaccine shipment is welcome news to E tū, the union representing many border and health workers.
The Government announced this morning that the first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be rolled out from next week and will be delivered to border and MIQ workers and their close contacts as a priority.
E tū Assistant National Secretary Annie Newman says it is great news.
“This is a very important milestone for our COVID-19 response and takes us a step closer to getting this virus under control,” Annie says.
“It’s entirely appropriate that people working at the border and in MIQ will be vaccinated first, as they have the most risk of exposure.”
Annie says it is vital that workers are not disadvantaged by the vaccine roll-out.
“This means that workers need to be properly paid throughout the process. If they need time off work for the vaccination, that must be fully paid. If any part of the process prohibits them from working for a period, that time off should also be paid and not require workers to use up their leave.
“These basics will need to be followed for the whole roll-out, not just this first batch. As our healthcare workers and others begin getting vaccinated, all Kiwi workers deserve financial security for doing that which is in all of our best interests.
“E tū members across many industries have kept Aotearoa safe and thriving through the pandemic. Health workers, aviation workers, cleaners, security guards, food workers, and many more have shown exactly how essential they are.
“The best way to thank these workers for their outstanding service is to make sure they are always properly paid for the work they do and any sacrifices they have to make.”
Annie also stressed the importance of following official advice and relying on the best information from the Ministry of Health.
“E tū members are encouraged to learn about the vaccine and why it’s so important in our fight against the pandemic. Excellent information is available on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine page.
“With proper protections, and good information, Aotearoa can once again show the world how it’s done.”
information and comment:
Annie Newman, 027 204 6340