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Attempt to Avert S.I. Nurses' Strike Unsuccessful

September 11, 2003
Attempt to Avert S.I. Nurses' Strike Unsuccessful

The parties negotiating the collective agreement for 3,000 nurses, midwives and health assistants employed in DHBs across the South Island met today, said New Zealand Organisation advocate Glenda Alexander.

Glenda Alexander said that NZNO and the DHB employers met to progress the negotiations, but had as yet been unable to resolve the impasse and avert strike action planned for Friday, 19th September.

She said the parties were still trying to resolve the issues and had agreed to a further mediated meeting on Tuesday 16 September.

"We are still genuinely endeavouring to find away forward and to avert strike action," said Glenda Alexander.

South Island nurses are claiming pay parity with their North Island counterparts.

Glenda Alexander said the main cause of the impasse was the funding.

"Nurses realise that DHBs have difficulty meeting pay claims because of funding restrictions, but that does not justify South Island nurses lagging behind the rest of the country," said Glenda Alexander.

"It's time the DHBs were supported by government to pay nurses fairly."

South Island nurses have voted to strike for two hours on Suffrage Day, 19 September.

The South Island MECA covers Southland, Otago, South Canterbury, Nelson/Marlborough and the West Coast DHBs.

ENDS

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