DHBs Focus On Settlement
District Health Boards say their focus remains on finding a way settle the Multi Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) negotiations with the NZ Nurses Organisation.
Spokesperson Dale Oliff says DHBs spent two days with the NZNO and an independent mediator last week discussing options for settling the pay talks, and while nurses have endorsed a strike proposal, DHBs believe they can come up with an offer to settle the pay talks.
“We’re continuing to work on a range of options and will be working with the union again this week to progress those discussions before the DHB and NZNO bargaining teams get back together with the mediator next week.
“I’m pleased to see the NZNO remains optimistic about the joint process, and we also believe focusing on solutions will help us find a settlement.
"DHBs recognise the essential role of nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in caring for New Zealanders and we respect the NZNO members’ right to strike – that’s not in question – but our focus is on finding a way to address their concerns as well as meeting the needs of patients and hospitals.
“We’re working towards the best possible outcome – a settlement – but we also need to ensure we can maintain essential hospital services if the strike goes ahead as a 24-hour strike across 29 and 30 July will have a significant impact on hospital services.
“DHBs will try to minimise disruption with some non-acute and elective procedures deferred where necessary to reduce demand on services and reduce patient numbers as much as possible before the strike.
“We expect to receive formal notice of strike soon, but our aim is to settle the MECA and prevent the strikes,” says Ms Oliff.