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ODHB Toast Of The Taxi Industry

1 September 2004

ODHB Toast Of The Taxi Industry

Otago District Health Board has slashed its car fleet by half and is requiring staff to use taxis to visit patients in the community, PSA organiser Mark Ryan said today.

“ODHB staff are having to wait for up to two weeks to book a car to visit patients or are using taxis where there are no available cars because of this recently-implemented cost cutting measure.

"ODHB will be the toast of the Taxi industry because of the decision taken to slash the car fleet. The lack of cars for staff and the use of taxis is having a huge impact on the way in which they now have to do their jobs, including response times for patients.”

Mark Ryan said the issue arose of whether the use of taxis on this scale was an appropriate use of the health tax dollar and whether it was an appropriate way for staff to be visiting patients in the community.

“ODHB also failed to consult with the PSA about the changes and has breached the consultation requirements of the union collective agreements. As a consequence the union has lodged a dispute with the Employment Relations Authority.

"We would prefer to be talking with the employer but in a case like this where the employer either refuses to talk, or believes that it does not have to talk to the union and members despite what it has agreed to in our collective agreements, these actions have to be taken."

The dispute was lodged with the Employment Relations Authority in Christchurch this week.

ENDS

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