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CDHB Services Under Pressure From Strike

CDHB Services Under Pressure From Strike

“NUPE delegates report that serious problems are already beginning to occur with services at the Canterbury District Health Board’s (CDHB) Hospitals after just a day and a bit into the five day strike,” said Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

Martin Cooney said the striking NUPE members are seeking funding for an acceptable offer for support and other staff members. “Delegates had hoped the Government would intervene after Cabinet yesterday to lift the 1.7% available for support staff and avoid the inevitable difficulties ahead for our Hospitals.”

“The lack of maintenance staff at Ashburton, Christchurch Public, Princess Margaret and Hillmorton Hospitals is beginning to bite,” said Martin Cooney. “For example, the boilerhouse at Christchurch Hospital already has a problem with a smoking boiler which normally requires a striking NUPE member to fix it. The workers there are refusing to fix it as they will not do the job of a striking worker.”

“Elsewhere drivers have said they are refusing to deliver coal to Ashburton Hospital if the maintenance staff are on strike. Some non-NUPE maintenance staff refused to cross picket lines this morning and managers had to be called to walk them across.”

“The Hospital has already admitted that surgery is being delayed because of delays with medical records,” said Martin Cooney. “The Board needs to acknowledge that the impact of the strike by clinical and non-clinical staff is significant, and call on the Government to fix the problem before it blows out.”

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