Strike off at DHB as pay deal agreed

Strike action by almost 300 health workers in MidCentral next month has been withdrawn after progress was made in pay negotiations.

The Public Service Association (PSA) yesterday withdrew notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at district health boards across New Zealand, including 293 members at MidCentral, after an improved offer was made in mediation.

PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said they were pleased the offer was negotiated through the mediation process.

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

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

"As a democratic organisation, our 12,000 DHB members covered by these proposed agreements will have the final say over this decision.

"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."

A spokesman for the 20 DHBs throughout the country said they were pleased to reach a settlement via mediation on five multi-employer collective agreements.

Chairman of the District Health Boards' employment relations strategy group and chief executive of Hutt and Wairarapa DHBs, Graham Dyer, said that the mediation was undertaken by both sides in a professional manner.

"The PSA team was most constructive. Our employees will now be consulted on the settlement and we hope they vote in favour."

Dyer said that no details of the settlement would be released while the PSA was informing its members.

Manawatu Standard