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Farewell refused for worker of 50 years

Friday, April 16, 2010
Barry Sweetman
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By MSN NZ Money staff

A district health board has come under fire for refusing to host an afternoon tea for a retiring employee who had been with the company for more than 50 years of work.

Today is Barry Sweetman's last day at the West Coast District Health Board where he has been an employee for half a century, according to the New Zealand Herald.

The health board is short of funds but a request to have them assist in paying for his farewell afternoon tea was initially rejected.

But after receiving a national panning, Mr Sweetman's employer has "come to the party" and contributed a small amount of food to a farewell function held last night.

A Service and Food Workers' Union official told reporters it was "totally bloody disgusting" while Labour Party health spokeswoman Ruth Dyson said it was a "complete insult".

The health board also responded to the negative feedback by issuing a statement which paid tribute to Mr Sweetman's long service and called him a "valued member" of the trades' staff.

Have you worked in a stingy workplace before? Have your say below.

User comments
Well what I would like to say is, these council heads, top dogs & MP's can have high profile Lunches, wines and dinners but can't give an employee of 50 yrs a good farewell. this is disgusting and ridiculous.
In this PC world where MP have lunch at Bellamys on the tax payer , and health boards count them selves as great employers using austrailian company (spotless) to pay staff peanuts and staff training is little more than a hour long dvd what else would we expect
We Barry Sweetman, congratulations for sticking with those nasty employers for so long. I expect they were better in days gone by. Anyhow, you are famous now in New Zealand and on the internet. Well done!
What has happened in our society?What a god dam disgrace the DHB has shown to society how to treat extra long serving employee's. At least Mr Sweetman sould have been reconised with a fully funded staff get together, A gold watch for length of service and may be a $2000.00 or better travel voucher to enjoy in his retirement,he has earnt it! If it was the CE0s what would they get? DHB get real, if you treat personel like that who would won't to work for you ?
Very sorry Mr Sweetman.No one cares these days.I know how you feel.I worked for a company for 21 years and how i was thrown out of my job for being a loyal employee. I wish you all the best Mr Sweetman. God Bless you for the future
Im so disgusted with this behaviour - the poor man spent 50 YEARS OF HIS LIFE - dedicating his services there - he should be put on a pedistool - not insulted in this way - This really upset me, in that at the end of the day - they dont care about the people - all they care about is the MONEY!!! I wish you all the best Mr Sweetman - you deserved sooooo much more - Mr Sweetman, how ironic.
That person who decided(on behalf of the Board) not to contribute to Barry's last day's shout ought to have his head examined, and then be given the boot -- what a disgrace!!!!
nz is getting worse all the time.no wonder so many moving to australia.nz government is useless has been for a long time.
All Bosses in there high power seats, that earn double what there workers get, Shame on you. its totally disgusting, 50 years in the job, for what a slap inthe face
He looks like a nice guy too! I bet he did more than what he got paid! Much more. And this is how he gets repaid for his kindness. The general problem with working for money is that managers get paid far too much!