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Third strike by doctors at five Wellington iwi health practices

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
A third Wellington GP strike is to go ahead tomorrow as general practitioners continue to show solidarity with their dental colleagues.

Twenty-one doctors at Iwi health provider practices in Porirua, Cannons Creek, Titahi Bay and Newtown will strike tomorrow (Thursday) from 9am to 10am, the third hour-long stoppage in a rolling set of strikes. This will be followed by two further hour-long stoppages on 18 and 19 December, before a full-day strike on Christmas Eve.

A letter to the Ora Toa PHO Board written by the GPs taking the industrial action has been released today by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

The letter reveals the strength of feeling among GPs about the dentists’ exclusion from the collective agreement, ASMS Senior Industrial Officer Lloyd Woods says.

Signed by the 21 GPs taking the action, the letter urges Ora Toa to recognise the dentists’ skills and their part in the wider medical team.

“The doctors and dentists work with the same patients, and often seek advice from one another on clinical matters. They are very much a team, and while including the dentists in the agreement will not incur a significant cost, it will greatly improve morale,” Mr Woods says.

“Ora Toa PHO responded to the letter saying that it was an operational issue for management.

“But Ora Toa management have chosen not to engage constructively with the union over the issue of the exclusion of the dentists.”

Mr Woods says ASMS representatives plan to hand out pamphlets to members of the public to advise them of the Christmas Eve strike to ensure they can make alternative arrangements should they need health care.

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists – December 8
Doctors at five Wellington general practices are due to strike for an hour on Monday morning, the second in a series of walkouts over the exclusion of their dentist colleagues from their collective employment agreement.

Twenty-one doctors at Iwi health provider practices in Porirua, Cannons Creek, Titahi Bay and Newtown plan to strike from 9am until 10am on Monday 10 December, with further stoppages scheduled for 13, 18 and 19 December, followed by a full-day strike on Christmas Eve. They also went on strike last Friday.

“It really illustrates how strongly they feel about their employer’s decision to exclude dentists from the collective agreement covering doctors,” says Lloyd Woods, Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

“These doctors and dentists all work as part of the medical team, but for some inexplicable reason their employer wants their employment conditions to be treated separately. It’s unfair and quite different from the collective agreement covering both senior doctors and dentists who work in public hospitals.”

Mr Woods says doctors at the practices are committed to achieving equity for their dental colleagues.

“Thomas Jefferson famously said: ‘On matters of style swim the current, on matters of principle stand like a rock’, and that’s what our members are doing on this issue. They don’t stand to gain anything financially by having dentists in the same collective agreement, but it really is a matter of fairness.”

Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists – December 7
Doctors at five Wellington general practices walked off the job for an hour this morning over the exclusion of their dentist colleagues from the collective employment agreement covering doctors.

“We understand that no doctors were on duty for an hour from 9am today as part of a planned series of rolling stoppages,” says Lloyd Woods, Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

Twenty-one doctors at Iwi health provider practices in Porirua, Cannons Creek, Titahi Bay and Newtown were due to take part in what is believed to be the first ever strike action by New Zealand general practitioners.

Mr Woods says another one-hour strike is planned for 9am on Monday, with further stoppages scheduled for 13, 18 and 19 December, followed by a full-day strike on Christmas Eve.

“All of this could be avoided if their employer Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, which runs Ora Toa Health, allowed its dentists to join the collective agreement that covers its doctors, recognising that they are part of the same medical team.

“It’s a simple, sensible request and it seems really unfair to doctors at these practices that the dental experts they work with are being kept out of their agreement.”

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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