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Industrial action on the cards at Waikato DHB

24 March 2005

Industrial action on the cards at Waikato DHB

Industrial action by clerical and administrative staff at Waikato District Health Board is on the cards after the failure of yesterday’s mediation talks to resolve the pay dispute.

Clerical and administrative staff are deeply offended at their employer’s offer of a 1.5 per cent pay increase. This is well below the pay settlements for other groups employed by the DHB, and does not begin to approach the “fair pay deal” the PSA is seeking for members.

The PSA has served notice of industrial action for the seven days beginning Monday 11 April. In the meantime, both parties have agreed to continue negotiations in the hope of reaching a settlement.

Linda Holt, the PSA’s advocate for the negotiations, says Waikato District Health Board blames a lack of funds, as well as its ability to recruit locally, for its failure to make a realistic offer. However the DHB has withdrawn an earlier claim that its funding was in deficit.

“In the latest talks, the DHB repackaged its offer by proposing an extended term for the agreement. That offer was rejected. It would have seen our members trapped in a long-term document with annual increases below the cost of living.”

Linda Holt says PSA delegates have been working on a contingency plan to ensure patient safety during the industrial action and will be discussing this with the DHB.

“Our members want to assure the public that it is not our intention to put patient safety at risk and we urge the employer to make the appropriate arrangements to protect patients.”

The PSA will be working with other unions with members at Waikato District Health Board through the Council of Trade Unions.


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