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Council must front up to its responsibilities

PSA Press Release

Attention: Health reporters October 22, 2003

District Council must front up to its responsibilities

The strikes at Oamaru Hospital could easily be resolved if the hospital’s owner, Waitaki District Council, got involved in the dispute and put some money on the table, PSA Organiser Mark Ryan said today.

Waitaki District Health Services Limited is wholly owned by the Waitaki District Council and operates as a local authority trading enterprise. Mark Ryan said that it was council policy that was driving the hospital into dispute with the unions over a fair and reasonable pay increase to keep pace with the rest of the public health sector. The Council was putting budgetary considerations ahead of the provision of quality public health services.

“Thus far, the Council has kept quiet on the sidelines of this dispute and is the silent partner in the underfunding of the hospital. As the owner, it must take its fair share of responsibility to ensure adequate operational funding is provided rather than hiding behind claims made against the Otago District Health Board and the Government. They need to be part of the solution.”

Strikes are to continue October 28, 29, and 30. PSA covers most of the allied health professionals and clerical staff at the hospital.

ENDS

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