NZ Life Care’s Double Message

Published: Wed 3 Dec 2003 01:00 PM
December 3, 2003
NZ Life Care’s Double Message
Striking members of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation at Rotorua’s Redwood Lodge are surprised at the double message coming from their employer, said NZNO organiser Shane Vugler today.
“On the one hand NZ Life Care has sent a letter to residents and their families stating the company is willing to return to the bargaining table and wishes to settle the dispute, and on the other hand NZ Life Care has refused an NZNO offer to return to mediation,” he said.
Shane Vugler said NZNO formally approached NZ Life Care yesterday with an offer to return to mediation and withdraw strike action, but the company did not pick up the offer.
“We have had to deal with these sorts of double messages throughout the negotiations,” said Shane Vugler.
“This is why we need a black and white agreement over adequate staffing levels, which can be enforced.”
Shane Vugler said the issue of staffing levels was at the heart of the dispute.
NZNO members are seeking agreement from NZ Life Care in collective agreement negotiations to the level of staffing NZNO members believe is necessary for the safety and quality care of the elderly residents.
Shane Vugler said NZNO members were taking industrial action because adequate staff was necessary to provide quality care.
Redwood staff are also angry at a pay offer from NZ Life Care Ltd. which would take the hourly rate for most staff to $10.60.

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