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PSA Wins Important Decision In ERA


November 26, 2007

PSA Wins Important Decision In Employment Relations Authority

The public and health workers in Otago will benefit from an Employment Relations Authority decision gained by the PSA.

The authority has determined that workers employed by the Otago District Health Board, covered by a collective agreement negotiated by the PSA, will keep the pay rates and working conditions in their collective if the board transfers their jobs to another employer.

The case arose when the board transferred employment of staff at the Mosgiel Family Health Counselling Centre to the Strath Taieri Primary Health Organisation, Taieri Health Services Limited. The company claimed that any new staff it employed would not be covered by the collective.

The PSA challenged the company’s claim and the authority ruled in the union’s favour stating that new staff are entitled to the pay and conditions in the collective.

“The company’s position would have enabled it to employ new staff to do the same work but for less pay and reduced working conditions,” says Dunedin-based PSA organiser, Mark Ryan.

“Pay and conditions could also have been driven down in other primary health services that were contracted out by the board in the future,” says Mark Ryan.

The PSA says this could have had led to a fall in the quality of health services in Otago.

“A drop in pay and conditions would have made it harder for health providers to hold onto and attract health professionals to the region,” says Mark Ryan.

“This is why the authority’s decision is a good for both health workers and the public in

The Employment Relations Authority decision was released by Philip Cheyne. The determination reference is CA 117/07 5073321.


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