Doc­tors pre­pare to strike next week over col­lec­tive agree­ment

The Northland Age - - Local News -

The New Zea­land Res­i­dent Doc­tors’ As­so­ci­a­tion last week gave no­tice of in­ten­tion to strike for 48 hours, start­ing at 7am on Tues­day next week, in a bid to re­new the na­tional col­lec­tive agree­ment that ex­pired on Fe­bru­ary 28 last year.

“De­spite a year of bar­gain­ing, the em­ploy­ers de­layed tabling claims un­til Sep­tem­ber, nine months af­ter bar­gain­ing be­gan,” NZRDA pres­i­dent Dr Court­ney Brown said, “and when they did, there were nu­mer­ous claw­backs to terms and con­di­tions

De­spite a fur­ther three months of bar­gain­ing, “sig­nif­i­cant claw­backs” re­mained on the ta­ble.

“While in 2018 most health work­ers gained im­prove­ments to terms and con­di­tions of em­ploy­ment without fac­ing claw­backs, the DHBs have taken a dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent ap­proach to res­i­dent doc­tors,” Dr Brown added. “It feels like they are pun­ish­ing us for our suc­cess­ful safer hours cam­paign.

“Res­i­dent doc­tors are a


em­ploy­ment.” par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble work­force due to the mo­bile na­ture of their em­ploy­ment, mov­ing reg­u­larly and fre­quently be­tween DHBs as part of their train­ing. With each move they are tech­ni­cally new em­ploy­ees, and without a multi-em­ployer col­lec­tive agree­ment they are lit­er­ally at the mercy of dif­fer­ent terms and con­di­tions be­ing im­posed.”

The NZRDA re­mained avail­able to at­tend me­di­a­tion with the DHBs to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment ahead of the strike ac­tion.

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