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DHBs ask RMOs to consider settlement offer before strike

District Health Boards are asking the RDA to let its members see the settlement offer that’s been made before they consider another strike.

Resident Medical Officers who are members of the RDA are being asked to vote on a five-day strike at the end of April, after the union had to withdraw notice of a planned strike before Easter.

DHB Spokesman Dr Peter Bramley says DHBs made a settlement offer to the union during mediation in Auckland today.

“RDA members are being asked to vote on a strike that will effectively reduce services to hospitals for nine days – this takes the action to a new level and RMOs should have all the information before them when choosing whether to strike.”

Dr Bramley says DHBs are committed to safe rosters backed by evidence-based practice and have worked hard to develop ideas and options that balance the needs of patients and RMO training. A dedicated ombudsman-type role within each DHB to address roster issues was discussed with the RDA today.

Key elements of the offer include:
• A number of amendments to better define how rosters are agreed and implemented
• Lump sum payments if RMOs don’t strike
• A 3-year term with pay rises totalling 7.5% per cent

“This is a good pragmatic deal,” says Dr Bramley. “This endless cycle of action by the RDA, which uses threats to patient safety as an alternative to meaningful engagement, continues to be ineffective.
“We’re currently waiting for the Employment Relations Authority to decide if urgent facilitation is needed and we’ll continue working in good faith towards a negotiated solution.”

“Hopefully the union and its members will take pause and think about focusing on a solution rather than further strike action,” says Dr Bramley.

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