INDEPENDENT NEWS

DHBs Still Willing To Talk To Lab Workers

Published: Wed 29 Nov 2006 09:18 AM
MEDIA STATEMENT
DHBs Still Willing To Talk To Lab Workers
Tuesday 28 November, 2006
Contact between the advocates in the laboratory workers strike continued last night and today some discussions with the mediator have occurred. However, the strike is still scheduled to go ahead from tomorrow morning.
Gordon Davies, CEO of Canterbury District Health Board and Spokesperson for the DHBs, says the DHBs are open to further meetings with the Union.
He says the DHBs will continue to investigate the prospect of further talks but at this stage there is no further meeting set down.
He says contingency plans are in place for all public hospitals when the lab workers walk off the job tomorrow morning.
“These arrangements have been reviewed by senior doctors and nursing advisors as well as senior laboratory staff, DHB general managers and clinical directors.
“The plans are as robust as possible, given the difficult circumstances created by a national strike of a key group of staff.”
He says the Lab Workers Union have given the DHBs a formal assurance that life preserving services will be maintained, with blood supplies available in emergency situations.
Laboratory workers at 15 District Health Boards, 3 private employers and the New Zealand Blood Service plan to stop work for 7 days from 0800 Wednesday 29 November until 0800 Wednesday 6 December.
The union is seeking a 13% increase on the entry level rates for scientists, and increases in other rates of more than 20% for other groups.
The DHBs offer would deliver an average of over 5.5% over two years and would allow the DHBs to bring all rates into line around the country.
“The union must face up to the fact that a strike will not change the reality that there is a big gap between what the union is asking for and what we can afford to offer,” said Mr Davies.
ENDS

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