DHBs across the country prepare for industrial action
District Health Boards have begun implementing contingency plans following notice to strike by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation.
NZNO Nursing, midwifery, and healthcare assistant colleagues covered by the NZNO MECA have issued notice for a full withdrawal of labour for 24 hours from 07:00am on 5 July. Notice for a second strike 24 hour strike from 07:00am on 12 July is expected next week.
DHB spokesperson Helen Mason says DHBs will do everything they can to settle the agreement and avoid the strikes.
“We’re in mediation with the NZNO on Friday and in the interim, DHBs will start implementing contingency plans to ensure the safety of patients and staff.
“DHBs are working
closely with the NZNO to ensure emergency and essential
services will be available.
Our aim is to keep everyone safe during the strike – patients and staff alike – and that means significant changes to normal services. Each DHB will be in touch with their affected patients to provide more information on this.”
Ms Mason says people should not delay seeking medical treatment or going to hospital if the matter is urgent. They should dial 111 for emergencies or an ambulance. They can visit their GP or a local pharmacy, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.
“Nurses, midwives and health care assistants are a highly respected and valued part of the modern team-based approach to health services. We are extremely concerned about the threat of industrial action and working hard to find a solution.
“Our last offer was increased significantly to over half a billion dollars for more staff and improved working conditions. It would also see the base pay rates of most experienced registered full time nurses go from $66,755 now to $77,368 by December 2019.
“DHBs can look at how the offer may be reconfigured
within current available funding.”