Southland District Health Board Chief Operating Officer, Lexie O’Shea, today responded to the announcement of the NZNO’s strike notice.
“We value our nurses and as part of our support for the collective contract, we have gone well beyond the budgeted parameters with the hope that a settlement would be reached. We believe that the offer is acceptable given the general trend across the sector” Mrs O’Shea said.
“Given that the proposed complete withdrawal of services is only for two hours, it is apparent that the nurses understand the fiscal constraints we have as a Board. The relationship with our nurses is very good and they are actively involved in developing the transition and migration plans to move into the new hospital”.
“The Board is cognisant of the great damage an ongoing conflict could cause from a confidence perspective but is unfortunately constrained with the tension of balancing the funding available for competing priorities, the primary one being delivery of health services to the region’s community”.
Mrs O’Shea emphasised that any further increase on wage spend will have to come out of somewhere else as SDHB is already well outside the parameters of the budget.
“It is important to note that we do not intend to conduct negotiations through the media or in any other public forum in the interests of further negotiations and achieving a settlement with the NZNO”.
Mrs O’Shea advised that in consultation with the other
regional DHBs, SDHB will develop a contingency plan to
manage the strike over the next few days. Notwithstanding,
the strike could result in cancelling pre-arranged
operations and outpatient clinics. However, emergency
services will continue