Mediation starts tomorrow in Wellington in a bid to avert the
biggest industrial action in health in a decade.
Public Service Association southern region organiser Julie
Morton, who is part of the union's national bargaining team,
said it was hoped the mediation could avert the action
through addressing worker concerns.
However, the union had resisted a request to defer issuing
strike notices until after mediation.
Mediation was split into three sessions, with a day each for
allied health, nursing and clerical staff.
It was technically possible that only one or two of the
vocational groups would settle, but it was likely to be all
three or none, she said.
Members felt ''bolstered'' by support from the public since
announcing the action last week.
The nearly 12,000 members, almost 1000 of who are in the
South, are fighting a 0.7% pay rise, and have raised concerns
over training and conditions.
If the action goes ahead, staff will work to rule from August
25 to September 10, observe an overtime ban next month and
undertake two short strikes next month.