Tuesday 13 September 2005
ATTENTION: INDUSTRIAL/HEALTH REPORTERS
CDHB Services Are Under Pressure From The Strike
“NUPE delegates reiterate 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 half 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 getting regular information about what is happening from supportive members of other unions who are at work but not doing the work of the strikers.
“Our union reiterates that the lack of maintenance staff at Ashburton, Christchurch Public, Princess Margaret and Hillmorton Hospitals is beginning to bite,” said Martin Cooney. “The information about the problem at the boilerhouse at Christchurch Hospital has been verified by the other union whose members are refusing to fix it as they will not do the job of a striking worker.”
“The email sent by CDHB managers regarding ‘sickness during strike action’ is also plainly illegal. The workers’ collective agreement states that ‘the employer may request a medical certificate.’ This email is a blanket directive which usurps the discretion implicit in the use of ‘may’. There has to be a reasonable cause. If the worker turned up next week with his or her arm in a caste then the Board would not be able to request a medical certificate,.”
“It was Jock Muir himself who stated to the media that CDHB surgery is already being slowed because of delays with medical records,” said Martin Cooney. “NUPE reiterates that the Board needs to acknowledge the obvious in 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.”