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PSA goes to Employment Relations Authority

21 August 2005

PSA goes to Employment Relations Authority

The Public Service Association (PSA) is taking legal action against district health boards for breaching the Employment Relations Act and the health code of good faith.

PSA members working in the mental health service are taking 24-hour strike action across the country from 7am tomorrow morning (Monday, 22 August) following the collapse of pay talks for around 3,000 workers.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff said some DHBs have been repeatedly distributing highly misleading information to union members which is a flagrant breach of the Employment Relations Act, the health code of good faith and the bargaining agreement drawn up at the start of pay talks.

“We will be seeking the intervention of the Employment Relations Authority in the morning to prevent the DHBs from sending inaccurate information to our members.

“Totally misleading information has been sent far and wide by the employers, bypassing the union and in complete contravention of employment law.

“It is unbelievable that the employers are willing to act so badly and it is certainly does nothing to resolving this dispute as quickly as possible.

“We expect 3,000 members to be taking industrial action tomorrow. Pickets are being set up across the country (further details are attached).

“Mental health workers deserve a fair pay deal which reflects the difficult job they do. Many have been sitting on expired agreements for over a year and more still work alongside general nursing colleagues whose pay has increased substantially this year.

“Our members regret the need to take industrial action but we are not prepared to lose conditions of service and accept an inferior offer which will only make recruitment and retention of mental health workers more difficult,” Richard Wagstaff said.

ENDS

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