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Major Industrial Initiative In Health For PSA

Major Industrial Initiative In Health For PSA In The South Island

The PSA will be seeking to negotiate three multi-employer collective agreements (MECA's) that cover the six South Island District Health Boards, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

The DHBS involved include West Coast, Nelson Marlborough, Canterbury, South Canterbury, Otago and Southland. The three MECA's will cover the three key occupational groups of PSA members with one for Clerical & Administrative staff, one for Allied Health staff and one for Mental Health Nurses. The Allied Health group includes Occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, technicians and the like.

"This is a major initiative for the PSA in the health sector and reflects the industrial strategy that we have been developing since the introduction of the DHB strucure and the Employment Relations Act.

It is the beginning of a process where the PSA will be aggregating members into bigger bargaining units to deliver better levels of settlement and greater consistency in terms and conditions of employment across DHB's for the more effective operation of the public health system. It is particularly important for PSA members employed in the DHB's because their contribution to the successful delivery of health service often goes unrecognised due to the higher profile accorded to nurses and doctors."

Mr Wagstaff said that bargaining had been initiated for the clerical and administrative MECA in March and he expects that, subject to members' endorsement, initiation for the Mental Health Nurses and Allied Health MECA's will occur in early July.

The PSA represents approximately 2500 members in the South Island DHB's.

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