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Workers fight application for injunction today

Auckland mental health workers fight application for injunction today

PSA Auckland mental health workers are challenging an application for an interim injunction filed yesterday by Counties Manukau District Health Board in the Employment Court seeking to prevent industrial action over the Christmas break, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

“The PSA is attending urgent mediation this morning in a bid to settle the matter before Monday’s hearing.”

“Our members are facing court action because they have stood up against a crumbling service on behalf of patients and for their own health and safety.”

“The review team has vindicated our members concerns in its findings. Today’s announcement by the Minister for more resources, better planning and regional integration for the Auckland Mental Health service provides a real opportunity to sought this out but only if the employer is willing to listen to those who work at the coal face.”

“The industrial action our members have been taking most of this year is focused on the health and safety of mental health clients and workers. The critical shortage of resources and overcrowding in our mental health units is an ongoing issue, not just confined to Christmas time”.

“The CATT team nurses remain firm in their determination to support the rights of people in the community to have access to acute in-patient facilities. These are issues we will continue to push at today’s mediation”.

“The PSA believes that simply lifting the action will only further compromise the health and safety of the clients and the community unless there are some real changes. We are particularly interested in the deployment of the extra 20 care packages for the region”.

Richard Wagstaff also said directing acutely unwell clients to the emergency department of hospital was not the solution.

“PSA mental health workers were most concerned about a directive given to them by Counties Manukau District Health Board requiring mental health clients to be taken to the emergency department of Middlemore Hospital when there were insufficient beds available at Tiaho Mai.”

“This means that acutely unwell clients will be left with staff who are not trained in how to care for them. This will be distressing for the clients and the staff.”

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