NZNO in talks with DHBs over life-preserving services

May 1, 2021

NZNO is working with district health boards (DHBs) and delegates on contingency plans for patient safety in case a strike by DHB members goes ahead next month.

A strike ballot was to close on May 13, after members rejected an NZNO/DHB multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) offer which largely ignored pay rates for senior nurses. An eight-hour strike is scheduled for June 9, if members voted to go ahead with industrial action and no revised offer was forthcoming, lead advocate David Wait has said.

A plan to maintain life-preserving services (LPS) was required during any industrial action arising from DHB MECA bargaining, NZNO industrial services manager Glenda Alexander said. Alexander and acting manager, nursing and professional services, Kate Weston have been meeting with DHB representatives and their national contingency planner.

“There are high-level processes and protocols required to be agreed as part of Schedule 1(b) of the Code of good faith for the public health sector,” Alexander said.

“Discussions have been held on what these would look like if there is any industrial action taken arising from the current bargaining.”

The code had specific requirements that needed to be met upon the issuing of a strike notice, which included how members would be involved in determining their local LPS agreements, she said.

“Information and delegate education is being prepared now for those who will be directly involved.”