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NNNO/PSA Urged Not To Split Mental Health MUCA

13 February 2004

MEDIA RELEASE
ATTENTION:
INDUSTRIAL/HEALTH REPORTERS

NNNO/PSA Urged Not To Split Mental Health MUCA

“NUPE is urging NZNO nurses and PSA members to reject the ballot to split the CDHB mental health agreement next week,” said Nadine Marshall, Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. She was commenting on the decision by the two unions to ballot members on 17th and 18th February which would split the four union Multi Union Collective Agreement (MUCA), covering all workers in Hillmorton Hospital and other mental health worksites plus workers in Older Persons’ Health and Oral Health.

“The repercussions of a vote to split the Agreement which has been in place for almost a decade would be significant for a number of groups,” said Nadine Marshall. “Locally it would pit workers against each another in a workplace where mental health requires cooperation and care.”

“A key issue behind the proposed split relates to the bulk underfunding of the CDHB by the Government, “said Nadine Marshall. “The Board is cutting its deficit by contracting out workers in Food Services and has recently signalled the reconfiguration of the CDHB Mental Health Service. At the same time, NZNO is pushing for a 30% pay rise. It would be very difficult for example keeping the peace if slashing of services and the savings from job cuts were used to give nurses their pay rises.”

Nadine Marshall said that the Unions considering splitting needed to realise the wider implications of next week’s ballot. “Management is failing to cope with violence in the workplace now – it does not need tension between staff added to the mix. Our Union urges Nurses and others to consider this in making their decisions. Working together is the only way forward.”

ENDS

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