District Health Boards welcome the establishment of the Independent Panel to help solve the current impasse in the pay talks with NZNO nurses and midwives.
DHB spokesperson, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, says the Prime Minister has recommended an Independent Panel to help find a way through the current employment negotiations and address the pay equity and workload issues NZNO nurses and midwives have raised.
“We’ve been working closely with the NZNO and have agreed terms of reference for the Panel and we expect that the Panel members and the timetable will be finalised early next week so we can begin working through the process.
“DHBs acknowledge the issues raised and, while we can’t address them all at once, we want to give NZNO nurses and midwives confidence there is a clear pathway to addressing them within the reality of competing demands for health resources we face.
“We understand the NZNO will be balloting members to seek a mandate for industrial action to advance its claims. What I want to make clear is that they don’t need to take strike action to be heard.
“The NZNO says industrial action is a last resort – we agree and hope the Independent Panel will help find the mechanism to avoid disrupting health services. I think nurses and midwives expect us to explore all options before they consider strike action.
“DHBs support the Independent Panel as a way to resolve the current negotiations and avoid disrupting health services, as well as finding a mechanism to address the current impasse,” says Dr Bloomfield.