Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Health Sector Singled Out In Bizarre Strike Clause

4 December 2003

Health Sector Singled Out In Bizarre ERA Strike Clause

The inclusion in proposed changes to the ERA of a “Code of Employment Practice” for strikes in the health sector singles out health sector workers such as nurses, and removes rights even the ECA did not attack,” Nurses Organisation CEO Geoff Annals said today.

Geoff Annals said the Nurses Organisation was deeply concerned that government had overridden an agreed tripartite process on how life preserving cover would be provided in strike action and had instead chosen to insert a potentially unworkable clause into the law.

The government has proposed that the law includes a requirement for the Minister of Health to approve a code of employment practice providing for “matters relating to the health and safety of patients, employees, and the public during strikes and lockouts in the health sector.” (New section 100D).

Geoff Annals said the move was completely unnecessary and was not in response to concerns by unions or employers.

He said unions in the health sector, DHB employers and Ministry of Health officials recently completed a process to establish a code setting out how disagreements over life preserving cover in the event of industrial action would be resolved.

“Establishing this draft code has been a success of the good faith provisions of the Employment Relations Act,” said Geoff Annals.

“The code we have developed would address any relevant issues and would be binding on all health sector employers and unions.”

Geoff Annals said the move will be seen by NZNO members as a response to the effectiveness of their current campaign for fair pay.

“The government should be focused on how to deliver fair pay, not on reducing the ability of nurses to organise industrially to achieve it.

The clause gives carte blanche to the minister responsible for funding nurses’ pay rises to decide how nurses can organise to achieve them. Not even the ECA went this far.”

Geoff Annals said nurses always provided life preserving cover in a strike, despite employers frequently attempting to create public fear as a tactic.

“Is the government saying it doesn’t trust good faith processes?” he said.

Geoff Annals said it was ironic that, while NZNO was campaigning for minimum staffing across the health sector, without any success to date, the government was proposing to establish minimum staffing levels in the context of industrial action alone.

The ERA, like the ECA, already requires 14 days notice of strike action to be given and mediation has been used effectively to resolve issues over cover.

“The ERA review was meant to be about strengthening collective bargaining and fairness,” he said.

“This proposal is about undermining existing rights, and will be treated by our members as an attempt to undermine their campaign for fair pay.”

Geoff Annals said the campaign for fair pay for nurses was overwhelming supported by New Zealanders and could wait no longer to be resolved.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news