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Gagging Of Clinical Staff Unacceptable

Gagging Of Clinical Staff Unacceptable

“The CDHB is pressuring staff members to sign a new code of conduct which gags clinical staff from speaking to the media and demands loyalty to the CDHB, just before vital Stopwork Meetings being held next week,” said Nadine Marshall, Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. “The code of conduct which NUPE members are currently subject to includes the statement ‘Clinical staff are free to speak to the news media about their specialty’ This phrase has been removed from the new code.”

“It seems that the CDHB is concerned that clinical staff may wish to inform the public of the difficulties they face in the performance of their jobs as the level of acuity gets worse and the health cuts deepen,” said Nadine Marshall. “This is further to the CDHB gagging Board members from speaking about decisions.”

“The Board has never consulted with our Union on changes to the Code of Conduct, “said Nadine Marshall. “There are serious implications because the Board has threatened to take disciplinary action against our members on the basis they are covered by the new code. The recent case in Auckland where Dr Bruce Twaddle was threatened with disciplinary action for speaking out over reduced bed numbers illustrates the significance of the issue.”

Nadine Marshall said that the Union was writing to the Board demanding they withdraw the order to workers to sign that they have read the new Code of conduct at least until consultation has occurred. “Such consultation would need to address the right of clinicians to speak out and explain just what displaying ’loyalty’ to the CDHB might mean.” For more information contact: Nadine Marshall Secretary on (03) 377 3582 or 021 689 733

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