Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Health Sector Singled Out In Bizarre Strike Clause

4 December 2003

Health Sector Singled Out In Bizarre ERA Strike Clause

The inclusion in proposed changes to the ERA of a “Code of Employment Practice” for strikes in the health sector singles out health sector workers such as nurses, and removes rights even the ECA did not attack,” Nurses Organisation CEO Geoff Annals said today.

Geoff Annals said the Nurses Organisation was deeply concerned that government had overridden an agreed tripartite process on how life preserving cover would be provided in strike action and had instead chosen to insert a potentially unworkable clause into the law.

The government has proposed that the law includes a requirement for the Minister of Health to approve a code of employment practice providing for “matters relating to the health and safety of patients, employees, and the public during strikes and lockouts in the health sector.” (New section 100D).

Geoff Annals said the move was completely unnecessary and was not in response to concerns by unions or employers.

He said unions in the health sector, DHB employers and Ministry of Health officials recently completed a process to establish a code setting out how disagreements over life preserving cover in the event of industrial action would be resolved.

“Establishing this draft code has been a success of the good faith provisions of the Employment Relations Act,” said Geoff Annals.

“The code we have developed would address any relevant issues and would be binding on all health sector employers and unions.”

Geoff Annals said the move will be seen by NZNO members as a response to the effectiveness of their current campaign for fair pay.

“The government should be focused on how to deliver fair pay, not on reducing the ability of nurses to organise industrially to achieve it.

The clause gives carte blanche to the minister responsible for funding nurses’ pay rises to decide how nurses can organise to achieve them. Not even the ECA went this far.”

Geoff Annals said nurses always provided life preserving cover in a strike, despite employers frequently attempting to create public fear as a tactic.

“Is the government saying it doesn’t trust good faith processes?” he said.

Geoff Annals said it was ironic that, while NZNO was campaigning for minimum staffing across the health sector, without any success to date, the government was proposing to establish minimum staffing levels in the context of industrial action alone.

The ERA, like the ECA, already requires 14 days notice of strike action to be given and mediation has been used effectively to resolve issues over cover.

“The ERA review was meant to be about strengthening collective bargaining and fairness,” he said.

“This proposal is about undermining existing rights, and will be treated by our members as an attempt to undermine their campaign for fair pay.”

Geoff Annals said the campaign for fair pay for nurses was overwhelming supported by New Zealanders and could wait no longer to be resolved.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>

 

Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>

ALSO:


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels