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NZRDA prepared to strike after disappointing DHB offer

NZRDA prepared to strike after disappointing DHB offer

NZRDA members have confirmed they are prepared to strike for safer rosters and have now moved to formally ballot on the issue of strike action.

The doctors believe the risk of unsafe rosters to themselves and consequently their patients is too high to continue without definitive resolution, prompting consideration of strike action. “The doctors want guaranteed change to the rosters that is contractually protected going forward,” says Dr Deborah Powell, National Secretary of NZRDA.

The employer’s offer on safer hours so far:
1. The employers have offered to reduce the number of night shifts to from 7 to 4, but:

a. Will take the next two years to implement the change; and

b. There will be no contractual protection to ensure the agreed maximum of 4 nights will stay in effect; and

c. There is no guarantee of recovery time after working 4 nights before returning to day shifts; and

d. If the doctors are currently rostered to 5 consecutive nights they will continue to be so rostered (i.e. will not be reduced to 4).

2. The employers have offered a “commitment” to address the matter of 12-days in a row, again sometime in the next 2 years, but:

a. There have been “commitments” from the employers before that have come to nothing; and

b. There is no contractual guarantee of change; and

c. Whilst the employers have rejected all the options proposed by NZRDA for resolving this issue (options based on successful rosters already in place), they have been unable to provide any suggestions of their own. Given the track record of DHBs failing to live up to commitments, this “offer” is too vague and uncertain.

“After 10 months of bargaining, the DHBs still have no contractually binding proposals to offer. The resident doctors are understandably frustrated with the lack of urgency being demonstrated by the DHBs, to resolve such an important issue affecting both themselves and their patients,” says Dr Powell.


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