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Grandstanding specialists’ union leader ‘unprofessional'

All District Health Boards
Media Release

10 April 2013

Grandstanding by medical specialists’ union leader ‘unprofessional and untrue’

Public comments from the head of the senior doctors’ union, Mr Ian Powell, criticising three District Health Boards and their relationship with the union’s members, are totally “unprofessional and untrue” says Graham Dyer, Chair of the District Health Boards’ Employment Relations Strategy Group and Chief Executive of Hutt and Wairarapa DHBs.

He said the union grandstanding was all to do with salary negotiations which resume on Wednesday.

“It is an enduring and predictable media ritual from Mr Powell to make such claims. Our public health system is the safest and most customer responsive it’s ever been by all independent measures and we have a very stable workforce amongst our senior medical officers in our 20 DHBs.

“It is unprofessional for the union leader to make unsubstantiated claims to put doubt in the minds of the public about the safety of the services DHBs provide to talk up their case. The claims are untrue.”

The comments by Mr Powell, the Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS - the senior doctors’ union), were made at an Australian ‘Industrial co-ordination’ meeting in Canberra last week.

“What is so surprising is that the formal offer we made to the Union in March matched the salary rate at the top of the scale that the Union was asking for and from the same effective date. Now the almost $50 million extra the DHBs have offered to invest in senior doctor salaries is deemed insufficient. Money is the crux of the issue and bad mouthing the sector including the union’s own members is no way to conduct a relationship,” says Graham Dyer.


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