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Still time to avert the strike

Sunday 4 May

Still time to avert the strike

District Health Boards say junior doctors should see the full details of the new pay offer before they strike and disrupt the health services to thousands of people.

“We put forward a new, constructive proposal to avert next week’s two-day strike – the RDA still has a 40% claim on the table,” says DHB spokesperson David Meates.

“DHBs suggested a way to prevent the action, give junior doctors a pay rise and create an independent commission to look at recruitment, retention, and advise how to pay and structure our workforce.” (see attached PDF )

“The commission sponsored by the Ministry of Health is a significant new development – it is a pragmatic, sensible suggestion to avoid disrupting hospitals.

“This offer was not on the table when notice for the second strike was served,” says Mr Meates. “The RDA should make all the details available so its members can choose whether or not they still want to strike.”

Other workgroups and unions work collaboratively with DHBs – why can’t the RDA. “On Friday, DHBs reached another settlement with another large group of employees – PSA Nurses.

The PSA will soon take the offer to its members for discussion and ratification, and Mr Meates says details will show another progressive forward looking settlement with a union that engages in a collaborative and co-operative manner.

“The settlement with the PSA is within the financial parameters currently offered to junior doctors. Perhaps the RDA needs to look at itself for the reasons behind this dispute.”

“This is not just a dispute about wages and conditions – it is about how we work together in a state of the art health system. The RDA’s hard-line response is totally out of keeping with the cooperative, team-based approach to modern patient care.”

“What the RDA seems to forget is that at the end of the day we’re here for the patients – we need to look after junior doctors to ensure we provide great training and competitive conditions – but at the end of the day it’s about the patients.”

“There is no real attempt by the RDA to get a settlement here. It is about exerting industrial pressure to support an unrealistic pay claim.”

Media Advisory
No new pay claim was tabled by the RDA during negotiations last week – its current claim is still for 40% over three years (13.3% pa) made up of:
- 30% pay rise made up of 3 annual increases of 10%
- Increases to allowances and conditions that add another 10% over the term of the contract

DHBs have two offers currently before the RDA:
1. Two pay increases of 4.25% over two years and the independent Recruitment, Retention and Remuneration Commission
2. A lump sum cash payment of 4.25% whilst the 21 DHBs do further work on the pay and structure of the RMO service to ‘get it right’. Our intention being to return to the table with a new offer in 6-8 weeks (this is a re-tabling of the offer that was withdrawn when the first strike began)

The attached PDF is a copy of the letter from the Ministry of Health outlining details of the proposed Recruitment, Retention and Remuneration Commission. This letter was presented to the RDA during negotiations this week.


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