Nurses to resume talks with DHBs

Striking nurses and supporters outside Dunedin Hospital in Cumberland St last week. PHOTO: GERARD...
Striking nurses and supporters outside Dunedin Hospital in Cumberland St last week. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
Talks to settle the nurses pay dispute resume today.

Hopes of a quick settlement to the employment contract negotiations looked slim on Friday when Health Minister David Clark reiterated the Government's stance that no further money was available for a potential settlement to the multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) row.

However, district health boards contacted New Zealand Nurses Organisation yesterday, requesting to meet and discuss an offer today.

``[We] look forward to meaningful discussions in an endeavour to deliver a proposed MECA that can be taken back to members for ratification,'' union spokeswoman Lesley Harry said.

Last week both sides were involved in compulsory facilitation talks co-ordinated by the Employment Relations Authority, and subsequently given a confidential list of recommendations by the facilitator.

Nurses are looking for movement from DHBs on staffing levels, action on transition to new pay scales, and ``a safe and sustainable health system''.

NZNO hoped to brief members on progress tomorrow, Ms Harry said.

Nurses went on strike for 24 hours last Thursday - only the second time a nationwide nurse's strike has been held.

No dates for further strike action have been lodged, but last week union leaders did not rule out the possibility if there was no progress in post-strike talks with DHBs.


 

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