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PSA Mental Health Nurses Strike

July 1, 2004

PSA Mental Health Nurses Strike

PSA mental health nurses at Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Lakes district health boards have voted to continue with planned strike action for six days beginning at 3.00am on July 2, PSA organiser Ron Berry said today.

“After eight months of negotiations and four days of mediation for a multi-employer collective agreement (MECA), our members have given a clear indication that the employers’ latest offer is unacceptable and the strike will go ahead.”

“The working environment for our members is one of constant pressure with bed numbers continuously at their maximum or over. Other social pressures such as the effects of illicit designer drugs like methamphetamine and its derivatives have led to new mental health consumers as added risks. There is also the factor of the ageing workforce and the difficulty in recruiting experienced staff and retaining them in such an environment. These issues are across the services, both inpatient and community and crisis mental health services. There has been a noted increase in assaults.”

Ron Berry said the employers’ offer did not have a standard across the board percentage increase but covered a range from 2.2% to 8.81% (for a very few) and for a term of 33 months. PSA members were asking for a small increase in annual leave provisions, 3.4% and 3.4% over a 25-month term with an allowance of $2000 for recognition of the particular stresses, recruitment problems and the experience required for working in the profession.


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