Hospital service workers get massive pay boost

Public hospital service workers are celebrating with a massive pay boost on the way.

The increases are the result of a new multi-employer agreement with DHBs, and affect cleaners, laundry staff and orderlies.

Union E tu's national hospitals co-ordinator Sam Jones says it's a significant salary increase.

"Without progressing through the training scales, over the three years it delivers between 24 and 40 percent pay increases for these workers."

Mr Jones says it will likely improve outcomes for patients.

"If a worker's able to earn a decent living in 40 hours they're less fatigued… it's proven better productivity and better outcomes in the workplace."

Some of the 3500 workers it affects will even be able to scale down their hours and still get by.

"What we are hearing back from our members is it will make quite a significant impact in their families' lives. Some have talked about being able to give up that six-day week and still earn enough to live on."

New workers in 2021 will start on $20.90 an hour, up 26.7 percent. Members with a level 3 qualification will go from $17.28 now to almost $25 in 2021, the Otago Daily Times reports, up more than 40 percent.

The settlement covers both those employed by the DHBs directly and those with contractors.