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“Senior doctors congratulate nurses”

17 December 2004

“Senior doctors congratulate nurses”

“Senior doctors congratulate nurses for achieving their first national collective agreement covering district health boards, the first for over a decade. At the risk of sounding like John Campbell, it is an absolutely marvellous outcome,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Nurses were one of the main victims of the failed market experiment of the 1990s. In the 1990s nurses were devalued and many employment conditions undermined. It is good to see some balance being provided.”

“It is interesting that both the nurses and senior doctors’ national collective agreements have a strong emphasis on workforce issues. The nurses’ agreement provides for an examination of the possible introduction of staffing ratios while the senior doctors’ agreement introduces workforce development planning, including staffing levels, in district health boards.”

“Having fairer industrial law was a critical factor in the achievement of national agreements for nurses and senior doctors. The Employment Relations Act strongly emphasises the right of unions to negotiate, something that was undermined in the 1990s.”

“The biggest obstacle in the past to national agreements in the public health system was the unfair and unbalanced industrial law of the 1990s which fortunately is now repealed,” concluded Mr Powell.



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