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Govt's industrial law behind Canty dispute

Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

24 January 2002

Govt's industrial law behind Canty dispute

National's Health spokesperson Roger Sowry has welcomed the Canterbury District Health Board's decision to proceed with mediation but says it's time the Prime Minister took action over the crisis.

"Mediation is the only sensible way forward," Mr Sowry said after attending an emergency meeting in Christchurch called by the board today.

"I am pleased with the line the board is taking given the very difficult circumstances the Government has put the board in. The Canterbury DHB is caught in a pincer between underfunding and bad industrial relations law.

"Labour's industrial relations law has prevented the board's chief executive from communicating directly with staff to explain the offer. The board is an impossible position, made worse because the Minister is sitting on her hands over the issue.

"With the board and doctors saying there will be deaths due to such a long strike this is a very serious crisis. The Prime Minister needs to instruct Annette King to work with both parties to resolve this issue," Mr Sowry said.

Ends

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