INDEPENDENT NEWS

PSA Auckland mental health workers challenge injun

Published: Fri 20 Dec 2002 01:03 AM
PSA Auckland mental health workers challenge injunction
PSA Auckland mental health workers are challenging an application for an interim injunction filed today by Counties Manukau District Health Board in the Employment Court seeking to prevent industrial action over the Christmas break, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.
The Employer has taken the extra step of naming the individual nurses as second defendants as well as the union.
“That is quite unnecessary and provocative. These people have been at the sharp end of an extremely difficult working environment and now they are facing individual attention in court for standing up against a system that lets down the patient. It will not work and our members will not be intimidated”.
“The industrial action our members have been taking most of this year is focused on the health and safety of mental health clients and workers. The critical shortage of resources and overcrowding in our mental health units is an ongoing issue, not just confined to Christmas time”.
“The CATT team nurses remain firm in their determination to support the rights of people in the community to have access to acute in-patient facilities.”
“The PSA believes that lifting the action will only further compromise the health and safety of the clients and the community.”
Richard Wagstaff also said directing acutely unwell clients to the emergency department of hospital was not the solution.
“PSA mental health workers were most concerned about a directive given to them by Counties Manukau District Health Board requiring mental health clients to be taken to the emergency department of Middlemore Hospital when there were insufficient beds available at Tiaho Mai.”
“This means that acutely unwell clients will be left with staff who are not trained in how to care for them. This will be distressing for the clients and the staff.”
The PSA has sought urgent mediation in an effort to find a solution to this long-standing problem.

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