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Board urged to resolve industrial dispute

Board urged to resolve industrial dispute

As patients begin to be turned away from Waikato Hospital, the Public Service Association (PSA) is urging District Health Board members to step in and push for a resolution of its ongoing dispute with clerical and administrative workers.

The Board meets today as clerical and administrative workers begin a second day of strike action. Clerical and administrative staff are seeking a pay offer commensurate with the 3 per cent deal already settled for other staff working for the DHB. The best offer from their employer to date equates to a 1.75 per cent increase.

The PSA has lodged notice of a further three days of strike action in a fortnight. It is likely both parties will enter mediation talks to try once again to resolve the dispute in the intervening period.

The PSA’s advocate for the negotiations, Linda Holt, says members will be picketing outside Waikato Hospital again today.

“There was strong support from union members and the general public yesterday for our position. They know that clerical and administrative workers are undervalued and that without them Waikato Hospital would grind to a halt.

“The reports we have received of patients being turned away from the emergency department during the strike underline this fact.

“The Waikato District Health Board is in a sound financial position and could easily make a fair pay offer to clerical and administrative workers.

“Board members have a responsibility to ensure the WDHB is meetings its obligation to be a good employer and to provide safe care to Waikato residents. These obligations are not being met at present.

“These negotiations have been going on for too long. It’s time for board members to step in and insist they be resolved immediately,” Linda Holt said.

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