Industrial action by healthcare workers begins tomorrow, DHB offers to avoid strike soon

For two weeks, starting tomorrow, members of the Public Service Association will only work their contracted hours, above pay and working conditions. Photo / 123RF

By RNZ

District health boards say the disruption that will be caused when 10,000 health workers take industrial action tomorrow will vary across the country.

For two weeks, starting tomorrow, members of the Public Service Association will only work their contracted hours, above pay and working conditions.

Workers include anesthesia technicians, oral health therapists, alcohol and drug addiction clinicians, and sterile science technicians.

Staff will refuse to work more than their contractual hours and to take any breaks to which they are entitled as part of the zeal action.

Speaking on behalf of DHBs, Hawke’s Bay DHB general manager Keriana Brooking said DHBs could not make a formal offer to the PSA until the weekend but intended to do so within next days.

“We are a public sector employer so there are only a few things to work out and we hope to be able to move very quickly to a formal offer early next week.”

Brooking said a large number of paramedics worked in 80 professions across New Zealand.

“So for us, we have to plan that we cannot rely on them outside of their set hours; however, we have other allied health personnel who are not part of the PSA and we have other ways to manage our work.”

The DHBs plan to make a formal offer to the union this week and hope to avoid a 24-hour strike scheduled for May 16.

The PSA says if the district health boards honor the recommendations of the Labor Relations Authority – which are confidential – the union would be happy to put the offer to a vote.

A previous series of strikes were called off during the Omicron outbreak in March, after the labor court ruled in favor of DHB seeking an injunction.

– RNZ

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