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senior doctors collective agreement settled

“south canterbury senior doctors collective agreement settled; senior doctors thank the public; beginning, not the end”

“The bitter industrial dispute between senior doctors and the South Canterbury District Health Board over the negotiation of the collective agreement that involved unprecedented strike action has now been settled,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

Senior doctors had a well-attended special meeting last night (ironically May Day) that voted overwhelmingly to ratify the proposed settlement.

“The settlement marks the end of the beginning (or the beginning of the end) of the efforts of senior doctors to turn around the disastrous working environment and relationships at South Canterbury and develop a good environment for effective recruitment and retention. Critical to the settlement and the next stage of this process is an independent review of the working conditions of senior doctors.”

“Senior doctors would like thank the public – individual members of the public, organisations such as Grey Power, and the Mayor and city councillors – for the massive support they have received. Senior doctors found this overwhelming strong support a very humbling and gratifying experience. Public support has gone a long way to encourage them to keep working at Timaru Hospital.”

The public also need to continue to follow and be involved monitoring further developments in South Canterbury, including the independent review of working conditions. Public vigilance is critical to ensuring that the Board and management develop a working environment that encourages effective recruitment and retention. The Board also now needs to seriously consider the wider issues and concerns raised at the public meeting organised by Grey Power.”

“The loss of three senior doctors is a devastating blow that demonstrates the importance of turning the South Canterbury DHB into a good place for senior doctors and other health professionals to work in and stay. No one knows this better than the public.”

“The settlement of the collective agreement is rather like finishing the ‘Hobbit’, the end of the beginning to be followed by ‘Lord of the Rings’. All roads now lead to Mordor,” concluded Mr Powell.

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