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Good progress in lower North Island health talks

Good progress in lower North Island health talks

Pay talks for health workers at seven lower North Island district health boards are progressing well, their union, the Public Service Association (PSA), says.

The PSA represents allied health professionals (including social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and pharmacists), mental health workers, technical and support staff, public health staff (including dental therapists and public health nurses) and clerical and administrative workers. The lower North Island negotiations cover staff working for the Taranaki, Whanganui, Mid-Central, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Capital Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs.

PSA health organiser John Shennan said the union and the DHBs are making good progress bringing together the first multi-employment collective agreements to cover these workers for the last 15 years.

“The PSA is seeking fair pay for all health workers.

“Bargaining to knit together the collective employment agreements for lower North Island health workers has been underway now for two weeks.

“Over the last 15 years of enterprise agreements with individual DHBs big differences in core conditions have emerged, including who is covered by the agreements, leave, standard hours of work and allowances. The PSA and the DHBs have made very good progress towards standardising these conditions across the seven Boards.

“The progress to date in the lower North Island is the first step in the PSA’s nationwide Fair Pay for All Health Workers campaign. At a national level we have been working with District Health Boards New Zealand (DHBNZ) to ensure our members receive a pay jolt similar to that recently agreed with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation which recognises pay parity issues for workers in the health sector.

“A fair pay settlement is an integral part of the workforce planning process championed by Health Minister Annette King. It is already difficult to entice young people into allied, technical, public health and clerical jobs in the health sector and this has been made much more difficult following the nurses settlement.

“Talks with the lower North Island DHBs are expected to continue for the next few months. At the national level, DHBNZ is currently costing the PSA national pay case,” John Shennan said.

ENDS

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