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“Nurses Strike Doomed To Fail”

THURSDAY 24 JANUARY 2002

“The Canterbury nurses planned 15-day strike is doomed to fail for four main reasons,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“The sheer magnitude of the proposed strike is similar in effect to doctors refusing to provide emergency care in life-threatening situations because of a dispute over salaries. Doctors might have the legal right to deny emergency care but it would be unethical and immoral.”

“The four reasons are:

1. It will be a public relations disaster because of the serious harm definitely caused for innocent patients and the deaths it will most likely cause. This will be a tremendous setback for the well-earned marvellous reputation of the nursing profession.

2. It will undermine the unity between nurses and senior doctors. The most important relationship in hospitals is between senior doctors and nurses. Senior doctors have generally been sympathetic to the position of nurses in these bitter negotiations but this is now threatened.

3. The strike will be divisive among nurses because of the serious harm and danger it will cause. Many nurses will work regardless of the strike and eventually it will probably fizzle out ending in a pathetic whimper.

4. It will undermine the credibility and therefore effectiveness of the Nurses Organisation in representing the industrial and professional interests of nurses. The proud impressive record of the Nurses Organisation will be undone.”

“The only achievement in this disaster is that Canterbury nurses have made their managers look good. This is an extraordinary feat that senior doctors have never been able to achieve. Oh the envy,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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