PSA withdraws strike notices

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 11:03 21/08/2014

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The Public Services Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of a strike by 12,000 members that had threatened to lead to health workers striking days before the September 20 election.

The PSA said today that the notices representing staff at district health boards across the country had been withdrawn after progress in mediation.

"We are pleased that, through the mediation process, we managed to negotiate an improved offer from the DHBs," PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said.

"This new offer will mean more money in the pocket for our hardworking members, and real progress on some of their other key issues."

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The PSA announced on August 4 that it had given strike notices after an overwhelming vote against accepting a 0.7 per cent pay increase.

The action would have included work to rule, a ban on overtime, and a series of short strikes. A lack of progress would have led to action being escalated, Wagstaff warned at the time.

"Industrial action was a last resort after months of bargaining, and we are pleased sufficient progress has been made that we can take that option off the table," Wagstaff said today.

"Our members take patient care seriously, so the DHB agreement to increase engagement on learning and development is particularly welcome to improve the standard of care."

The scale of the improved offer, which the PSA is recommending to members, has not been revealed, but the PSA was pushing for a 2 per cent increase, noting that inflation is now 1.6 per cent.

"The new offers will now go out for discussion and voting at members meetings across the country, with a recommendation to sign," Wagstaff said.

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