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“South Canterbury Senior Doctors Dispute

“South Canterbury Senior Doctors Dispute Still Unresolved”

“The senior doctors’ collective agreement dispute with the South Canterbury District Health Board remains unresolved,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Although it was originally intended that a new proposal for settlement would be considered by a postal ballot, this was overtaken by events with the holding of a well-attended meeting of senior doctors meeting that provided a good opportunity to consider areas of ‘grey’ in the proposal.”

“The cost of the settlement is no longer an issue of dispute. However, there is an enormous level of distrust among senior doctors over the preparedness of management to honour the process for the independent review of working conditions that forms part of the new proposal. The level of total distrust is higher than I have experienced in any public hospital in New Zealand for many years and is made more difficult every time a senior manager or the board chairperson opens their mouth.”

“The next stage is to endeavour to address concerns over the wording and process for the proposed independent review of working conditions. This may take some time and is expected to require a further special meeting of senior doctors. No further comment will be made by the Association until this matter is resolved.”

“Regardless of the final outcome of this dispute the intensity of distrust from senior doctors makes it abundantly clear that South Canterbury is not going to move forward until there is a significant change in the senior leadership of the district health board,” concluded Mr Powell.

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