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Doctors at 5 health practices on strike

News from Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
Doctors at five Wellington practices will strike for a full day tomorrow in the final action in a set of rolling strikes.

Further strikes are likely in the new year because of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira’s continued refusal to allow dentist employees to join the collective agreement, says Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) Senior Industrial Officer Lloyd Woods.

The two dentists’ GP colleagues at Ora Toa Health practices, Cannons Creek, Mungavin, Porirua, Takapuwahia and Poneke, took part in five one-hour stoppages leading up to tomorrow’s full-day strike. Read more about the strike action here.

Mr Woods says the union regrets the impact on patients, but had little choice because of the employers’ refusal to employ dentists on the same basis as GPs, despite them being part of one health care team.

He says the stubbornness of the employer was illustrated by their refusal to budge, even when the GPs offered to accept a lower pay increase than that offered in return for the concession.

ASMS representatives spent time this weekend distributing pamphlets in affected areas to advise people of alternative health care options.

News from Association of Salaried Medical Specialists – December 20
Efforts to avert a full-day Christmas Eve strike have failed, and further strikes are now likely, after Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira again refused to engage with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

Twenty-one GPs at Ora Toa Health practices in Wellington are taking part in rolling strike action to support their dentist colleagues, who are excluded from the collective agreement.

ASMS Senior Industrial Officer Lloyd Woods expresses his apologies to patients affected by Monday’s strike at the Cannons Creek, Mungavin, Porirua, Takapuwahia and Poneke practices.

He says he has negotiated in many workplaces over the years but has never encountered a similar attitude from an employer. He made the comment after attending last-ditch talks with the employer yesterday (Wednesday) in an effort to avert the strike. He described the attitude of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira (Ora Toa Health) as “strange and inexplicable”.

GPs were prepared to accept a lower pay increase in return for their two dentist colleagues being covered by the collective, but this was refused.

“This meant that the savings through proposing a lesser salary increase for GPs would fully fund any costs to Ora Toa as a result of the coverage of the dentists and, in fact, probably create savings. In effect the GPs would be paying for their colleagues to be included as part of their medical team. We were very surprised and disappointed when this was refused,” Mr Woods says.

It means the full-day strike will go ahead on Christmas Eve, and further strike action is now highly likely.

“We then went even further with a hypothetical proposal that would see the dispute finished without direct dentist coverage but with them covered at an unknown later date. We were more than surprised when this too was turned down quite forcefully,” he says.

Mr Woods says other employers would jump at the opportunity to offer a lower pay increase.

1 comment:

  1. Harry M, 21. December 2018, 6:09

    Well i’ll be damned, Doctors will go on strike for a cause. In this case their unfairly excluded colleagues. The medical system is poxed indeed.