INDEPENDENT NEWS

DHBs Disappointed By Strike Action

Published: Mon 7 Jun 2021 04:09 PM
District Health Boards say their focus is ensuring patient safety after nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants rejected an offer to settle their current pay talks.
DHB Spokesperson Dale Oliff says members of the NZ Nurses’ Organisation will strike from 11:00am to 7:00pm on Wednesday 9 June and the DHBs’ priority now is finishing preparations for the action.
“Our focus is ensuring patient safety and we’ve been working with the NZNO on plans to maintain essential hospital service to protect life and prevent disability.
“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.
“Patients whose services may be impacted by the strike will have been contacted and if anyone has questions, they should contact their DHB.”
Ms Oliff says emergency and essential services will be available during the strike.
“It’s important that people don’t delay seeking medical treatment or going to hospital if the matter is urgent. People can still call 111 for emergencies or an ambulance. They can also visit their GP or local pharmacy or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.”
Once the strike is over, DHBs will resume negotiations with the NZNO.
“These talks will be settled by discussion, and we’ll be talking to the NZNO about next steps that are likely to include mediation or facilitation. We need to talk to NZNO further about that.
“DHBs recognise the essential role of nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in caring for New Zealanders and our offer included a range of lump sum payments and increases to base rates - especially for the lowest paid.
“We anticipate bargaining will continue to focus on pay with our commitment to the wellbeing package, protecting the gains from the last negotiations and DHBs assurance to safe staffing.”
A summary of the DHBs’ last offer is set out in the attachment and further information is available here.

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